Friday, April 17, 2009

Lady Knights win third straight LIT title with hit parade

Lansingburgh's sophomore catcher Meg Volz receives congratulations from teammates after circling the bases in the first at-bat in the bottom of the first inning Friday afternoon at Knickerbacker Park in Troy. The Lady Knights pounded out 15 hits to defeat Hoosick Falls 10-3, claiming their third consecutive Lansingburgh Invitational Tournament title. (All photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Erin Glikes deals in Friday's championship game against Hoosick Falls. The American International-bound senior and reigning Colonial Council MVP struck out 10 and faced the minimum through five innings.

Lansingburgh's Sam Woitkoski fires to first base after fielding a ground ball at second base. The sophomore was also the winning pitcher in Lansingburgh's opening round victory over Rensselaer. She added two hits and scored two runs in the victory over Hoosick Falls. Sarah Cipperly (10) looks on.

Hoosick Falls' Karley Morin (right) laughs with the Panthers' left fielder, Jackie Kimball (left) after making a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch to rob Volz of an extra-base hit in the second inning. It was a crucial play at the time and kept the Panthers within one run all the way up until the end of the fourth inning.

Melissa Bell hit an inside-the-park home run for the Lady Knights and she finished the afternoon with three hits and four RBI. She was primarily a defensive first baseman on the 2008 Colonial Council-winning team but will be relied on for her bat this year, too.

Other newcomers to the Lansingburgh starting nine - Sam Mattey, Jackie Dezey and Tina Johnston - contributed a combined five hits and two RBI in the championship victory. Mattey and Dezey led the junior varsity team last year and Johnston played varsity softball as a freshman, focused on basketball for a few years, but has made an impact in her return to the diamond.

"It feels weird without girls like Molly (McDonough) and Amanda (Lupi), but we’ve had some people step up," Glikes said. "Melissa Bell is hitting really well and Sam (Mattey) and of course, Meg (Volz) and Sarah (Cipperly) and Kayla Cole."

Lansingburgh head coach John Cipperly also stressed it was important for this team, the 2009 vintage, to feel like they are a championship-caliber team.

"Until you see them do it, you can believe all you want that they can, but until you see them do it, you’re a little nervous," he said. "But we’ve been working hard and had some good practices and that’s important."

The Lady Knights (1-0, 3-1) get the Colonial Council season started in earnest next week and will host defending New York State Class C champion Mechanicville in a crucial game on Monday, April 27.

Hoosick Falls' (2-1, 3-2) freshman sensation Rachel Quackenbush limited Averill Park to one run in the Panthers' 2-1 victory in the opening round. Hoosick Falls faces Wasaren League powerhouse Schuylerville on Monday and head coach Charlie Weeden said the two games against Rensselaer County's Class A teams on Friday was a good tune-up for the week ahead.

Lansingburgh Invitational Softball Tournament Champions
2005 - Hoosick Falls
2006 - Hoosick Falls
2007 - Lansingburgh
2008 - Lansingburgh
2009 - Lansingburgh (8-2 all-time)

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