Friday, May 29, 2009

Busy day on the diamond for Section II baseball and softball teams

One thing was made certain Friday afternoon: there will be a number of brand-new Section II champions next Friday.

In softball, Mechanicville topped two-time defending champ Cohoes 8-0 in Class B and Niskayuna dropped six-time defending Section II large school champion Shenendehowa 8-3.

In other upsets, No. 7 Saratoga Springs knocked off No. 2 seeded Troy, 3-1.
Columbia will meet Bethlehem in a threematch next Tuesday and 'Toga faces Niskayuna in an all-Suburban Council Final Four.

In Class A, Lansingburgh's Erin Glikes no-hit Scotia-Glenville, setting up a semifinal meeting with Ichabod Crane. South Glens Falls put up 19 runs on Holy Names and will play Burnt Hills in a Saratoga County showdown in the other semi.

In baseball, Shaker handed La Salle a 2-1 decision in nine innings, preventing the Cadets from winning another Class AA championship.

Mechanicville sophomore pitcher Anna Arceneaux winds up during Friday's Section II Class B quarterfinal game against Cohoes at Veeder Park in Colonie. She hurled a two-hit, seven-strikeout performance in a 8-0 shutout. Oh, and she hit a two-run home run to put the Red Raiders on the board in the third inning, too. (softball photos by Tom Killips - The Record)

Cohoes freshman catcher Courtney Gumprecht catches a foul pop off the bat of Shannon McBride in the first inning of Monday's game. Gumprecht walked in the first inning and doubled in the seventh and was, along with Bailei Tetrault, the only Tigers hitter to reach base twice against Arceneaux.

Cohoes' Bailei Tetrault slides in safe at third base as Mechanicville third baseman Alysa Russell applies the tag during the first inning of Friday's game. Tetrault and Gumprecht were both stranded in scoring position in the first inning and the Tigers could never muster another rally. Arceneaux set down 14 Cohoes hitters in a row in a stretch between the first and sixth innings.

The Tigers lose two very important seniors in four-year starters Shelby Gratton and Mary Kellogg, but the core of a youthful and talented team will return. Led by freshman pitching sensation Courtney Dayter, the Tigers look to be competitive yet again in 2010.

"She’ll be back," Cohoes head coach Frank Ryan said of his young pitcher.. "She’ll be tough next year. We just didn’t give her the support she needed (Friday). We just didn’t hit and that’s what we said the whole time. Against (Mechanicville) we have to play our best defense and we have to get to the ball."

Check out the full story on the game in Saturday's hard copy edition of The Record.

Check out the updated softball brackets here.
Shaker High starter Brian Cary gets ready to let one loose during Friday's Class AA opening round game against La Salle at Geer Field. He threw 121 pitches in a nine inning duel with the Cadets, but prevailed as the Suburban Council No. 6 seeded Blue Bison upset defending Section II champions La Salle, the No. 3 Big 10 seed, by a score of 2-1. (all baseball photos by J.S. Carras - The Record)

La Salle senior starter Kyle Charron also went the distance, throwing 126 pitches, striking out seven and adding three hits at the plate.
La Salle catcher Will Remillard makes a catch as Nick Bernardo (25) looks on during Friday's game.

Shaker third baseman Patrick Seebald corrals a throw as La Salle's Wil Ryan slides into third base safely with a triple in the fourth inning.

Two at-bats later, La Salle's Zach Remillard (pictured, foreground) laid down a suicide squeeze bunt and Shaker catcher Matt Schwenzfeier tagged Ryan out at home plate to keep the game a scoreless tie.

Joe Snyder's two-run single in the top of the ninth was all the Blue Bison needed, as Cary got Charron to ground out in the bottom of the inning for a fitting end to an epic pitcher's duel.

The Blue Bison get right back at it with a quarterfinal game at Columbia High School on Saturday, with a Noon scheduled start time. Shaker beat Columbia 13-7 earlier this season in East Greenbush.

"It started getting a little shaky at the end there, but (Cary) wanted the ball and he’s a senior captain, so I let him have it," Shaker head coach Peter Mravlja said.

"Their pitcher pitched a superb ballgame and they got their bunts down, so they deserved to win," La Salle head coach Jesse Braverman said. "They outplayed us and they made the clutch plays and we didn’t."

A big thanks to my colleague Andy Santillo for covering the game, and be sure to check out his entire account of the game in Saturday's edition of The Record.

Updated Section II baseball brackets.


Mark your calendars, because I'm planning a live chat for Monday, June 1st at 8 p.m., right here at this site.

I'm taking a page from our friends at the Post Star in Glens Falls, who always provide an interesting dialog in their discussions with fans in their live chats.

Come ready with all of your questions and comments for the semifinals and finals to come next week in both baseball and softball. Depending on the turnout, I plan to make it a regular feature of the site, so please send me your feedback via email in the meantime and please drop by from 8-9 p.m. on Monday night!

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