Wednesday, May 13, 2009

High and dry: Columbia strands eight in 1-0 loss to Bethlehem

Columbia High junior Jena Servidone pitches during Wednesday Suburban Council South Division game against Bethlehem High. Servidone went the distance, allowed only three hits and one baserunner through the last four innings, but still took a hard-luck 1-0 loss. (All photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

The only run of the game scored on a weird and wacky play. Bethlehem’s Jill Venezia singled to center field to lead off the inning and moved to second base on a Marybeth Dombrowski groundout. Megan Crucetti followed with a hard-hit ball to the shortstop hole with Columbia’s Sam Chevalier and Venezia colliding as the ball skipped into the outfield.
Offensive interference was not called and the run scored.

Bethlehem sophomore Toni Edwards pitched a two-hit complete game, striking out seven and stranding eight Blue Devils on the basepaths.

"They got the run and I wish it didn’t come down to that run, but Toni Edwards has become one of the best pitchers around," said Columbia head coach Gary Holtz. "We know that is one heck of a team. I though Jena pitched a heck of a game, but Toni outbattled her and it had the feeling of a playoff game. Bethlehem is going to be right in it."

"Meg Crucetti had a nice hit up the middle, the runner was advancing from second and it was a questionable interference call there and they didn’t call it," said Bethlehem head coach Karen Gentile. "The run scored and that was the only offense for the whole game. It was an awesome game."

Columbia third baseman Hillary Fass makes one of her five assists to first base during Wednesday's game. She also made a nice catch up against the Blue Devils dugout and stroked one of Columbia's two hits.

Columbia (11-2, 13-4) had an opportunity to clinch the South Division title outright with a win over the Eagles, but holds on to their magic number of two. Any combination of Columbia wins or Bethlehem (9-4, 12-4) losses totaling two clinches the South Division for the Blue Devils.

Columbia's Shannon Dougherty lays down a sacrifice bunt in the third inning for the Blue Devils. She advanced two runners into scoring position with the first out of the frame, but a foul pop-up and a strikeout ended Columbia's best chance of pushing any runs across the plate.

Columbia tried a rally in the seventh, as Anna Carey's one-out single put the game-tying run on base. Bethlehem third baseman Megan Burns, however, made a great diving catch in foul territory to record the second out on Columbia's Meg Hallenbeck.

Sam Chevalier followed with a walk, the game-winning run on first base, but Edwards got Dougherty to pop up to second base to end the game.

"We were looking forward to this because we wanted another chance against Columbia," Edwards said. "We know they have a good record but we knew we could beat them. We came in confident and I pitched my game and didn’t let anyone get in my head."

Servidone catches a pop-up to retire Megan Burns in the first inning. She put down the last 10 Bethlehem hitters in order, doing all she could to keep the Blue Devils within striking distance.

"Jena is having a heck of a year but Toni was a little bit better today," Holtz said. "That’s the way it goes. The playoffs are going to be exciting because there are any number – I think seven or eight – of teams that can be competitive."

--
Here are the latest New York State polls, which came in late Wednesday night:

2009 NYSSCOGS/NYSSWA
Softball State Rankings - week 4
Poll editor: Perry L. Novak
(May 6-12)

Class AA
1: 20-1 LI St. John Baptist-CHS
2: 17-0 Valley Central-9
3: 17-0 Tottenville-PSAL
4: 14-1 North Rockland-1
5: 13-0 Clarence-6
6: 17-2 Bay Shore-11
7: 18-2 West Babylon-11
8: 14-2 Cicero-North Syracuse-3
9: 14-2 Fairport-5
10: 13-3 Columbia-2
11: 17-2 Liverpool-3
12: 14-3 Shenendehowa-2
13: 17-3 East Islip-11
14: 10-4 Horseheads-4
15: 13-2 Hyde Park FDR-1
16: 12-2 Troy-2
17: 10-3 East Meadow-8
18: 12-2 Arlington-1
19: 12-2 Webster Thomas-5
20: 10-4 Lancaster-6
21: 12-3 Carey-8
22: 10-2 Williamsville North-6
23: 13-5 Long Beach-8
24: 16-4 West Genesee-3
25: 12-8 Union-Endicott-4

Class A
1: 13-0 Maine-Endwell-4
2: 16-1 Victor-5
3: 11-1 Pearl River-1
4: 15-3 Corning West-4
5: 10-1 Lakeland-1
6: 14-3 Lansingburgh-2
7: 11-1 South Glens Falls-2
8: 14-3 Floral Park-8
9: 15-3 Hauppauge-11
10: 10-2 Port Jervis-9
11: 16-2 Seaford-8
12: 16-2 Mt. Sinai-11
13: 12-3 Pittsford Mendon-5
14: 7-2 West Seneca East-6
15: 12-3 Newark-5
16: 11-2 Cornwall-9
17: 10-2 Harrison-1
18: 14-4 Oneida-3
19: 11-1 Malone-10
20: 12-3 Phoenix-3
20: 12-3 Kings Park-11

Class B
1: 15-3 Hampton Bays-11
2: 17-4 Windsor-4
3: 13-2 Chenango Valley-4
4: 13-1-1 Mechanicville-2
5: 16-2 Canastota-3
6: 16-5 Immaculata-CHS
7: 14-1 Putnam Valley-1
8: 15-4 Susquehanna Valley-4
9: 9-2-1 Highland-9
10: 14-2 Wayland-Cohocton-5
11: 14-3 Fredonia-6
12: 14-0 South Jefferson-3
13: 11-1 Dobbs Ferry-1
14: 13-5 St. Dominic-CHS
15: 14-1 Canton-10
16: 15-2 Newark Valley-4
17: 14-2 Schuylerville-2
18: 8-4 Waterloo-5
19: 11-5 Westhill-3
20: 12-3 Falconer-6

Class C
1: 10-0 Chester-9
2: 14-2 Greene-4
3: 15-1 Duanesburg-2
4: 9-2 Sandy Creek-3
5: 14-2 Tioga-4
6: 9-1 Haldane-1
7: 14-4 Pulaski-3
8: 14-5 Elmira Notre Dame-4
9: 11-2 Chapel Field-9
10: 14-3 Oakfield-Alabama-5
11: 11-1 St. Lawrence-10
12: 5-0 Perry-5
13: 11-3 Ticonderoga-7
14: 8-1 Warsaw-5
15: 13-4 Hoosick Falls-2
16: 6-0 Gananda-5
17: 9-4 Lake George-2
18: 9-2 Tuxedo-9
19: 14-4 Lancaster St. Mary’s-CHS
20: 9-4 Cassadaga Valley-6

Class D
1: 18-2 Afton-4
2: 16-0 Ripley-6
3: 10-1 Heuvelton-10
4: 7-1 Livingston Manor-9
5: 8-0 Elba-5
6: 12-1 Fillmore-5
7: 13-1 Bolivar-Richburg-5
8: 11-0 Oriskany-3
9: 9-0 Poland-3
10: 8-0 Crown Point-7
11: 12-4 Stockbridge Valley-3
12: 9-4 Northstar Christian-5
13: 14-0 Downsville-4
14: 11-3 Hartford-2
15: 12-1 Forestville-6
16: 9-4 Fort Ann-2
17: 10-3 Schenevus-4
18: 10-1 Milford-4
19: 10-3 Jefferson-4
20: 12-4 Hamilton-3

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