Friday, July 11, 2008

All-Area Softball 2008

The Record's 2008 All-Area softball team ran in the June 28th edition, but the digital version of the team is included below.

Player of the Year - Jen Mineau, Hoosic Valley

POS.

NAME

W

L

ERA

IP

BB

SO

CG

SHO

P

Jen Mineau, Sr. Hoosic Valley

20

1

0.10

138.3

8

340

20

19

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BA

SB

70

17

33

4

1

1

21

.471

0

William Montgomery

The Record

SCHAGHTICOKE – No matter what the calendar says, it’s always springtime for Jen Mineau.

Throughout the fall and winter, when other girls are working on their free kicks or jump shots, Mineau is still in the pitcher’s circle, perfecting her repertoire.

For her devotion to the game and her execution in the pitcher’s circle, the Hoosic Valley senior is The Record’s Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

“You get done from a hard practice, get outside, and you say, ‘it’s disgusting out here’,” Mineau laughed about her winter workouts. “But that’s definitely the reason I’ve had success, to work year-round. You can’t lose those four to five months.”

In 2008, Mineau pitched the Indians to a second straight undefeated run through the Wasaren League and a 20-1 record. Of 453 batters faced, Mineau struck out 340. She allowed only two earned runs all year – an 0.10 ERA.

“I watched and listened as she came up through the modified and JV programs and as I got to know her, I discovered her dedication to the sport,” said Hoosic Valley head coach Jim Seeley.

In addition to her indoor practice routine, playing summer ball with elite travel teams made Mineau into the unhittable pitcher she is during the scholastic season.

“Players in the northeast have a disadvantage because they can’t play softball year-round like players in the south can,” said Seeley. “Her father found a way for her to practice year round - to practice as much as kids from other parts of the country. It shows the dedication her family put to get her to the top level.”

Mineau led Hoosic Valley to a perfect 25-0 season and the New York State Class C championship in 2007 and earned New York State Class C Player of the Year honors. Although Hoosic Valley fell to Cohoes in this year’s Section II Class B final, Mineau picked up the Section II MVP hardware before the game.

“That was really exciting for me,” Mineau said. “When I was a freshman, my dad said to me, ‘By the end of your career, you’re getting that award’.”

The Indians went on a 45-game winning streak over Mineau’s junior and senior years and having a pitcher like Mineau in the pitcher’s circle changed Seeley’s approach to coaching.

“It makes life a little easier,” Seeley laughed. “With her consistency - she averaged 17 strikeouts per game - you only need to make four or five outs in the field per game. Her stellar day-in and day-out performance allowed us to be in every game. We just had to find a way to manufacture a run to support her.”

Mineau was also the Indians’ leading hitter, driving in 21 runs on a .471 batting average. While she was a strikeout artist in the pitcher’s circle, when Mineau was at bat, she struck out only four times.

In four years on the varsity team, Mineau won 73 games, 60 of those shutouts, and holds a career ERA of 0.11.

Seeley, the former Superintendent at Hoosic Valley, is stepping down after 25 years of coaching at Hoosic Valley, Bolton Landing and Glens Falls. His 385 career victories rank him among all-time best in the state and Seeley was named the New York State Class C coach of the year in 2007.

JV coach Blake Bochette will head Hoosic Valley’s varsity squad in 2009.

Mineau too is moving on. She finished her high school career with 1,418 strikeouts in four varsity seasons, only nine shy of New York’s all-time leader, Chelsea Plimpton, who mowed down 1,427 batters over six years.

But batters beware - the duo will pitch together at Fordham University next year because Plimpton is transferring in after playing her freshman year at Saint John’s University.

“When I visited (Fordham), I fell in love with the school and the campus,” said Mineau. “I loved the coach and they have a really supportive student-athlete system.”

One significant adjustment for Mineau will be the distance to home plate. In high school competition, the pitcher’s rubber is 40 feet from home plate. In college, it is 43 feet away.

“They’re going to get me started on weights,” Mineau said. “I’ll also have to reacclimate all my pitches to 43 feet. I’m going to have to pay my dues.”

First Team

POS.

NAME

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BA

SB

C

Jess Dearstyne, Sr. Cohoes

69

20

27

3

0

2

24

.391

NA

1B

Ana Purritano, Sr. Shaker

63

16

23

10

1

3

14

.365

NA

2B

Molly McDonough, Sr. Lansingburgh

78

33

35

2

3

3

19

.449

4

3B

Kayla Lynch, Sr. Colonie

79

23

34

6

2

6

22

.430

NA

SS

Lindsey McKeever, Sr. Mechanicville

113

48

51

9

3

0

19

.451

8

OF

Shannon Jones, Jr. Troy

55

32

29

4

0

6

21

.527

6

OF

Toni Liberty, Sr. Mechanicville

95

25

40

0

0

0

15

.421

26

OF

Jena Servidone, So. Columbia

70

12

20

6

0

0

10

.286

3

DH

Leanne Merchant, Jr. Burnt Hills

81

21

37

9

2

5

28

.457

5

U

Dana Rizzo, Sr. Columbia

78

10

30

6

1

0

15

.385

3

W

L

ERA

IP

BB

SO

CG

SHO

P

Anna Arceneaux, Fr. Mechanicville

20

3

0.62

146.2

25

166

NA

NA

P

Amanda Ferro, Jr. Shenendehowa

20

2

0.61

132

42

206

12

11

P

Erin Glikes, Jr. Lansingburgh

18

3

1.05

141

48

211

18

9

P

Courtney Galuski, Sr. Cohoes

15

8

1.82

169

NA

146

21

NA

ANNA ARCENEAUX

School: Mechanicville Class: Freshman Position: Pitcher

Notable: Arceneuax was a true ace this season, winning 20 games and leading the Red Raiders to the 2008 Class C state championship. The young pitcher was also one of the team’s top hitters.

Arceneaux, a first team Colonial Council All-Star, hit an even .400, scored 22 times and drove in 31 runs.

When Mechanicville’s Shannon McBride fell ill early in the season, Arceneaux had the opportunity to throw more innings and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

As an eighth grader, Arceneaux was a second team outfielder on The Record’s 2007 All-Area team.

JESSICA DEARSTYNE

School: Cohoes Class: Senior Position: Catcher

Notable: A five-year starter at Cohoes, Dearstyne will continue her career at Saint Peter’s College. A first team Colonial Council All-Star, Dearstyne led the Tigers in every major hitting category. In addition to her .391 batting average, she had a .538 on base percentage, 24 RBI and scored 20 runs.

A three-sport athlete at Cohoes, Dearstyne also played volleyball and basketball for the Tigers.

Dearstyne’s leadership behind the plate put Cohoes in the state semifinals two years in a row and at season’s end the Tigers were ranked No. 4 in the state.

AMANDA FERRO

School: Shenendehowa Class: Junior Position: Pitcher

Notable: Ferro moved from center field to the pitcher’s circle after the graduation of Angie Sagnelli, a first team All-State pitcher in 2007. Ferro was masterful, going 20-2 and striking out 206 hitters on a 0.61 ERA.

The Suburban Council MVP pitched the Plainsmen to their sixth straight Section II title and into the regional round of the state playoffs. Ferro said her favorite moment of the season was beating a No. 1 ranked Colonie team 5-0 during the regular season.

She also plays field hockey and basketball at Shenendehowa.

Ferro was a third team outfielder on The Record’s 2007 All-Area team.

COURTNEY GALUSKI

School: Cohoes Class: Senior Position: Pitcher

Notable: Galuski, sore arm and all, pitched two consecutive postseason shutouts, including a win over top-ranked Hoosic Valley, to get the Tigers back to the New York State Class B final four for the second consecutive year.

A first team Colonial Council All-Star, Galuski won 15 games and recorded 146 strikeouts. She will continue her softball career at the College of Saint Rose and plans to major in childhood education.

Also a sharpshooter on the hardwood, Galuski tied a national record with 15 three-pointers in one game and was a first team All-City basketball pick by The Record in 2008.

ERIN GLIKES

School: Lansingburgh Class: Junior Position: Pitcher

Notable: Glikes guided the Lady Knights to 18 victories and the outright Colonial Council championship, their first since a co-championship with Mechanicville in 2002.

With 211 strikeouts in 141 innings pitched and a 1.05 ERA, Glikes snagged Colonial Council MVP honors.

The junior hurler threw nine shutouts, including two no-hitters and a pair of one-hitters.

Glikes is also a member of the Lady Knights basketball team.

SHANNON JONES

School: Troy Class: Junior Position: Outfield

Notable: Hands down the best pure hitter in Section II, Jones helped the Flying Horses win their third straight Big 10 championship in 2008. The power hitting center fielder smacked six home runs and finished with a .690 on base percentage thanks to 29 bases on balls from pitchers afraid to give her anything to hit.

Jones picked up the 2008 Big 10 MVP not only for her offensive prowess but also for her fearless play in the outfield. Her outstanding range and highlight reel catches in center field saved many runs for Troy.

She is also a member of the Flying Horses’ volleyball and basketball teams.

TONI LIBERTY

School: Mechanicville Class: Senior Position: Outfield

Notable: Liberty did not have any extra base hits this season – but she sure did leg it out on the basepaths. The Red Raiders’ senior captain stole 26 bases and came around to score 25 runs, setting the table for Mechanicville’s Class C state championship.

She stole two bases in Mechanicville’s victory over Duanesburg in the Section II Class CC/C playoff.

A Colonial Council honorable mention selection, Liberty hit 40 singles in 95 at bats and also drove in 15 runs.

Liberty is headed to SUNY Stony Brook, where she plans to major in journalism.

KAYLA LYNCH

School: Colonie Class: Senior Position: Third base

Notable: Lynch smacked two postseason home runs, advancing Colonie to the Section II Class AA championship game for the second straight season. In her senior campaign, she hit six homers and drove in 22 runs on a .430 batting average.

The Garnet Raiders were ranked as high as No. 1 in the state this season and finished at No. 10.

Over the course of her career, Lynch was a three-time First Team All-Area pick by The Record and played in three Class AA Section II championship games.

A first team Suburban Council All-Star, Lynch plans to play next year in Troy at Hudson Valley Community College.

MOLLY McDONOUGH

School: Lansingburgh Class: Senior Position: Second base

Notable: The senior second-sacker hit .449 and scored 33 of the 42 times she reached base, helping the Lady Knights claim their first Colonial Council championship since they shared it with Mechanicville in 2002.

A first team Colonial Council All-Star, McDonough is the all-time leading hitter in Lansingburgh history with 152 hits, surpassing her older sister to take the top spot.

McDonough holds the cross country record on the school course at Knickerbacker Park and owns three indoor track records at Lansingburgh.

In 2007, McDonough was a fifth team All-State selection and a first team All-Area pick by The Record.

LINDSEY McKEEVER

School: Mechanicville Class: Senior Position: Shortstop

Notable: Mechanicville’s leadoff hitter was nearly unstoppable in her final year with the Red Raiders. McKeever moved from center field to shortstop and hit .451 with 48 runs scored, earning first team Colonial Council recognition.

McKeever led the Red Raiders to their fifth state title since 2000 and as a freshman, she was part of the 2005 Class C state champion team. On her final day as a Red Raider, McKeever went 8-for-10 with six runs scored.

McKeever will continue her softball career in the outfield at Siena College, where she plans to major in history.

LEANNE MERCHANT

School: Burnt Hills Class: Junior Position: Designated Hitter

Notable: One of the most feared hitters in the area, Burnt Hills’ backstop was again a tough out. Merchant slugged five homers and drove in 28 runs. Her .457 batting average was among the best in the Section.

Merchant, a first team Suburban Council selection at catcher, led the Spartans to the Section II Class A championship game for the second consecutive year.

She hit her first career grand slam against Voorheesville and her three-run home run helped the Lady Spartans beat Lansingburgh in the Section II Class A playoffs.

Merchant was also a member of the Burnt Hills volleyball team that has advanced to the Class A state final in each of the past two seasons.

ANA PURRITANO

School: Shaker Class: Senior Position: First base

Notable: Purritano was again one of the top hitters in the Suburban Council. She legged out 14 extra base hits for the Blue Bison, including three home runs.

Purritano was a first team infield selection in the Suburban Council in 2008 and this marks her second straight year on The Record’s All-Area first team.

She will attend Johnson & Wales University in the fall and plans to major in sports management.

DANA RIZZO

School: Columbia Class: Senior Position: Utility

Notable: The only senior on her team, Rizzo was a versatile player for the Blue Devils.

As a pitcher, she won nine games and saved two more, striking out 134 batters in 99 innings of work. Rizzo no-hit Shaker on April 22 and it marked the first time Columbia defeated the Blue Bison in six years.

When Rizzo wasn’t pitching, she played first base and was also Columbia’s top hitter. She knocked out 30 hits and slugged .487.

Rizzo will continue her softball career at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., where she plans to major in business management.

JENA SERVIDONE

School: Columbia Class: Sophomore Position: Outfield

Notable: Servidone split time between the outfield and the pitcher’s circle and was equally impressive at both. As a pitcher, Servidone went 8-2 with a 0.93 ERA and struck out 53 batters. She was a sparkplug at the top of the Blue Devils’ lineup, rattling off 20 hits.

She also plays on the volleyball team at Columbia.

Servidone was a first team Suburban Council All-Star in 2008 and was an honorable mention selection as a pitcher on The Record’s 2007 All-Area team.


Second Team

POS.

NAME

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BA

SB

C

Nina Cervini, Sr. Mechanicville

105

9

47

12

2

2

39

.448

0

1B

Jennifer Mongiovi, Sr. Shenendehowa

69

16

23

6

9

1

20

.333

NA

2B

Lauren Lawler, Sr. Shenendehowa

88

30

36

12

2

1

22

.409

NA

3B

Jamie VanBramer, Jr. Waterford

70

34

33

10

0

9

41

.471

3

SS

Emily O’Donnell, Fr. Niskayuna

80

16

38

9

2

1

30

.475

3

OF

Amanda Lupi, Sr. Lansingburgh

78

14

25

1

0

0

12

.321

3

OF

Megan Price, So. Niskayuna

84

23

34

10

1

1

19

.404

NA

OF

Eileen Farrell, Jr. Hoosic Valley

61

14

26

3

4

1

9

.426

0

DH

Meg Volz, Fr. Lansingburgh

68

20

30

5

4

3

25

.441

0

U

Sam Chevalier, Jr. Columbia

82

15

26

6

2

1

9

.317

2

W

L

ERA

IP

BB

SO

CG

SHO

P

Rachel Annello, Fr. Niskayuna

10

1

0.75

75

34

103

9

3

P

Katie Cahrenger, Jr. Waterford

15

4

2.35

113

28

132

12

2

P

Nikki Hedrick, Sr. CCHS

12

7

2.30

NA

32

160

19

NA

P

Mikayla Wells

14

5

0.39

143.2

15

245

19

NA

Third Team

POS.

NAME

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BA

SB

C

Julie Maio, Sr. Colonie

82

17

31

3

1

2

17

.378

NA

1B

Bridgette Plummer, Jr. Schuylerville

81

NA

40

6

5

2

15

.494

4

2B

Jessica Pipino, Sr. Hoosic Valley

67

26

23

4

1

1

8

.343

1

3B

Hillary Faas, So. Columbia

74

10

26

4

0

0

6

.351

0

SS

Barb Shea, Sr. Shenendehowa

83

23

30

6

3

0

14

.361

NA

OF

Mary Kellogg, Jr. Cohoes

83

18

22

2

0

0

10

.265

NA

OF

Katie McGreevy, Fr. Waterford

66

28

30

3

2

2

28

.455

2

OF

Kayla Cole, So. Lansingburgh

66

13

20

1

3

0

11

.303

1

DH

Gaby Elsbree, Sr. Holy Names

52

16

21

3

6

0

13

.403

NA

U

Emilia Peluso, Sr. Shenendehowa

62

12

26

4

0

2

20

.403

NA

W

L

ERA

IP

BB

SO

CG

SHO

P

Toni Fusco, Sr. Colonie

9

3

1.59

48.1

7

40

NA

NA

P

Alyson Onyon, So. Saratoga

7

6

1.59

92.2

22

150

NA

NA

P

Liz Belleville, Fr. Troy

12

7

2.50

112

47

96

11

2

P

Maddie Skellie, Jr. Greenwich

14

9

2.06

140

40

185

19

1

HONORABLE MENTION

C: Emilee Bonnier (Sr., Hoosic Valley); Sara Heller (Sr., Guilderland) Emily Jones (Jr., Troy); Kayla Koumjian (Sr., Shaker); Kaci Madden (Jr., Saratoga Springs); Aileen Valley (Sr., Loudonville Christian);

1B: Kelsey Polmateer (Sr., Hoosic Valley) Natalie Triano (Jr., Colonie)

2B: Steph LaDue (Sr., Cohoes); Kelly Murphy (Sr., Mechanicville); Jillian Thornton (Sr., Loudonville Christian)

3B: Molly O’Donnell (Jr., Niskayuna); Alyssa Russell (8th, Mechanicville); Meg Welcome (Sr., Cohoes)

SS: Jenn Ahearn, (Sr., Cohoes); Med Beditz (Sr., Troy), Amanda Case (So., CCHS); Sarah Cipperly (So., Lansingburgh); Rachel Csakany (Sr., Schenectady); Emily Giroux (Fr., Waterford)

OF: Alicia Dott (Sr., Colonie); Sarah Karpovich (Jr., Holy Names); Aimee Lefebvre (So., Waterford); Kelsey Odgen (Sr., Shaker); Morgan Sprague (Sr., Shenendehowa); Liz Stein (Sr., Greenwich)

P: Katie Filak (Jr., Burnt Hills); Megan Fitzgerald (Sr., Tamarac); Lauren Giglio (So., Niskayuna); Lauren Haggerty (So., Averill Park); Jenna Pettograsso (Sr., Loudonville Christian) Rachel Quackenbush (8th, Hoosick Falls); Shannon Riedy (Sr., Schenectady); Lauren Walsh (Fr., Holy Names)

Cohoes' Frank Ryan is Coach of the Year

William Montgomery

The Record

COHOES Cohoes head coach Frank Ryan made a number of gutsy calls this year.

First, he arranged for his team to play the most challenging non-league schedule possible – a move that at first frustrated and wore down the players early in the season.

Then, Ryan flip-flopped the longtime middle infield duo of Jenn Ahearn and Steph LaDue in an attempt to shore up the team defense and reverse the Tigers’ fortunes.

The Cohoes coach also stuck with senior starting pitcher Courtney Galuski in the playoffs, even as she battled shoulder soreness.

For Ryan, The Record’s 2008 Coach of the Year, all the gambles paid off. The Tigers captured their second straight Section II Class B title and earned another trip to the New York State Class B semifinals.

“Always, since I’ve been coaching for 34 years, I always try to play up, up, up,” said Ryan. “It’s the only way you get better.”

Ryan did the same when at the helm of the boys basketball team at Cohoes, dragging them to Utica for tournaments against top-tier teams from around the state. Although Ryan’s teams tended to lose more than they won on the roadtrips, his players were ready for the pressure come sectional playoff time.

While the Tigers faced off against the best in Section II, including Suburban Council teams such as Shenendehowa, Cohoes traveled to Binghamton earlier in the season for a doubleheader against two teams ranked highly in the final state rankings.

Although Cohoes lost to both Fairport (No. 6 AA) and East Hampton (No. 5 A) by one run, the team learned that they could compete with the best in the state, a significant boost to their confidence.

“Coming home on the bus, I told the girls, ‘We can’t be ashamed’,” Ryan said.

The team also had garnered a great deal of local celebrity, including a police escort to Binghamton for the state semifinals and a reception at City Hall with Mayor John McDonald on June 16.

Ryan said he and the girls have received a flood of phone calls, cards and emails congratulating them on their postseason success the past two years, but none stood out as much as an email Ryan received from a Cohoes resident calling the team’s victory over then No. 1 ranked Hoosic Valley in the Section II Class B championship game “girl’s athletics win in school history.”

While many saw it as an upset – Hoosic Valley had won 45 straight games coming into the contest – Ryan admitted that thanks to the scheduling, his team was not one bit nervous.

“The girls were so confident going into that game,” Ryan said. “After facing a pitcher like (East Hampton’s Jessica Stavola) they were not afraid or intimidated.”

Stavola, who the Tigers faced in the non-league doubleheader early in the season in Binghamton, is headed to the University of Connecticut and owns the New York State single game strikeout record.

A group of Cohoes seniors that included Galuski, LaDue and Ahearn, as well as Jessica Dearstyne and Meg Welcome were instrumental to the Tigers’ string of success over the past few years. The girls have been playing together for years at Cohoes and they also put in the extra effort by playing on summer travel teams. It is all having a trickle-down effect in the community because younger players are being inspired by the girls on the varsity team.

“The feeder program is starting to work well and it’s only going to help the program,” said Ryan. “But we have to keep them focused and playing.”

The Tigers’ JV squad won the Colonial Council title this season and that has Ryan’s hopes up for their defense of consecutive Class B championships.

“We’re going to surprise some people,” said Ryan. “We have a good little JV team, but we’re going to have to work harder on pitching. I’m looking forward to it already.”

Although the players that put the program on the map are graduating this weekend, Ryan feels that his methods of preparation will have the team performing again at a high level in the years to come.

“It’s all for the kids, they’re the ones that do it,” Ryan said. “I just try to prepare them as hard as I can. I tell the girls that if you’re prepared, that’s half the battle.”

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