The Record's 2009 All-Area high school softball team
ss Shannon Jones, Sr., Troy 70 38 38 13 4 8 29 .543 16
TROY - High school softball in the Capital District is typically defined by phenomenal pitching performances, as double-digit strikeout totals and shutouts are the norm rather than the exception. Only one student-athlete in the Capital District consistently drew praise far and wide for her abilities with the bat over the past four seasons from opposing players, coaches, umpires and parents - Troy High School’s Shannon Jones.
Her 2009 output was simply astonishing. Jones had 38 hits in 70 at-bats, hit eight home runs, scored 38 runs and drove in 29 for the Flying Horses, who won a fourth consecutive Big 10 Conference regular season title.
The Siena College-bound senior also made a seamless transition from center field to shortstop, earning 2009 High School Softball Player of the Year honors from The Record.
Jones’ slugging percentage (the number of total bases per at-bat) was a jaw-dropping 1.185 and she reached base at a 71% clip. Her prowess in the batter’s box was so well-known that many pitchers never gave her anything to hit, figuring a walk was a better decision than letting Jones swing away.
"Sometimes it was frustrating because I want to help the team out by getting a hit and getting things started," Jones said.
A first team All-New York State Class AA player for the second consecutive season, Jones did so for the first time as a shortstop. First-year Troy High head coach Casey Halloran admitted she did not have to do much coaching with Jones and her swing, but the two did put some effort into the defensive conversion.
"Shannon is a great kid, but I did have to work with her a little bit at shortstop, which was a position she hadn’t played in a while," Halloran said.
Jones, who was named the 2009 Section II Player of the Year before the Section II championship games on June 5, will join a bumper crop of former Section II All-Stars at Siena College, which is rebuilding its program around local talent under head coach Deanna Parks. Shenendehowa senior Mandy Ferro will also play for the Saints, following in the footsteps of Mechanicville’s Lindsey McKeever and Troy High grad Courtney Brinkman.
She struck fear in the heart of every pitcher she faced for the past four years and became a household name around the Capital Region, but Jones, despite the four Big 10 titles, never had the chance to represent Section II in the New York State regional round. That doesn’t bother the unflappable slugger.
"I would have liked to win a sectional title," Jones said, "but I think when I was on the field I did everything I could and I put my heart on the line."
Local high school pitchers will let out a big sigh of relief next spring when they see a Troy High lineup without a Jones. The Flying Horses, on the other hand, are already auditioning for their next big-time hitter.
"We’re going to be young and we’re really going to miss Shannon and her cousin Emily, too," Halloran said. "We’ll just have to try our hardest to fill that hole next year."
C Meg Volz, So., Lansingburgh 92 32 47 9 7 3 23 .511 3
1b Bridgette Plummer, Sr., Schuylerville 75 13 35 7 3 0 13 .467 6
2b Brittany Hart, So., Columbia 82 9 27 3 0 0 9 .329 0
3b Amanda Case, Jr., Catholic Central NA NA NA 8 2 7 36 .430 NA
ss Sam Chevalier, Sr., Columbia 76 25 18 2 0 0 10 .237 1
of Mary Kellogg, Sr., Cohoes 71 13 19 2 0 0 10 .268 NA
of Abby Maiello, Fr., Mechanicville 92 25 29 4 0 0 9 .315 6
of Serena Moroukian, So., Niskayuna 71 24 24 6 1 3 13 .338 6
dh Mary Beth Dombrowksi, So., Bethlehem 78 26 32 6 2 5 20 .410 8
ut Sarah Cipperly, Jr., Lansingburgh 86 19 36 3 5 1 19 .419 0
W L ERA IP BB SO CG SHO
P Erin Glikes, Sr., Lansingburgh 19 5 0.65 162.2 49 239 22 NA
P Jena Servidone, Jr., Columbia 18 5 0.89 156.2 26 175 23 13
P Rachel Quackenbush, Fr., Hoosick Falls 22 4 NA 181 28 334 25 13
P Anna Arceneaux, So., Mechanicville 17 1 0.65 123 29 174 NA NA
Notable: Volz got things going as Lansingburgh’s leadoff hitter, posting a .511 batting average with 47 hits and 32 runs scored. She struck out only eight times and did a fantastic job defensively catching Erin Glikes, making a single error in the field. Volz was a first team Colonial Council All-Star and a New York State Class A fourth team selection.
Notable: The Wasaren League MVP, Plummer was a prototypical middle of the order slugger for the league champions. Plummer hit for a .467 average and drove in 13 runs. She led a Black Horses team to a 12-2 record in Wasaren League play and a berth in the Section II Class B championship game. A fourth team Class B All-State selection, Plummer will play for Utica College next year and study psychology.
Notable: Hart stepped into the Blue Devils starting lineup as a sophomore in 2009 and found a home in the No. 3 spot in the lineup. Her .329 batting average was the highest on a team that advanced to the New York State Final Four round for the first time since 2001. Hart is also an accomplished bowler at Columbia.
Notable: Case solidified the middle of the Crusaders’ lineup, keeping them in contention for the Big 10 Conference regular season title until the end. She slugged seven home runs and hit for a .490 average, was a first team Big 10 All-Star and aims to major in broadcast communications in college.
Notable: On a team with three seniors, Chevalier’s leadership helped bring this Blue Devils team together in the dugout. Columbia (20-7) won its first Section II title since 2001 and advanced to the New York State Class AA Final Four. She will play softball at Union College while studying Pre-Med.
Notable: One of the few holdovers from the Tigers consecutive trips to the New York State Class B Final Four in 2007 and 2008, Kellogg provided Cohoes an important veteran presence, a golden glove and tremendous range in center field. She had 19 hits and drove in 10 runs as a middle of the lineup producer for the Tigers. Cohoes team MVP, Kellogg with attend Plattsburgh State and major in nursing.
Notable: Maiello proved more than an adequate replacement for Toni Liberty, who gradated in 2008, hitting .315 with 25 runs scored for the New York State Class B champion Red Raiders. A fifth team Class B All-State selection, Maiello also made six assists from the outfield and aims to be a mainstay at the top of the Mechanicville lineup for years to come.
Notable: One of the best center field gloves in the Suburban Council, Moroukian was a first-team player and led the Silver Warriors to a Section II championship game for the first time since 1982. She had 24 hits and scored 24 runs for a Niskayuna team that only figures to improve in future seasons.
Notable: Facing one tough pitcher after another in the Suburban Council didn’t faze Dombrowski, who posted a .410 batting average and scored 26 runs and hit five home runs for the Eagles. Bethlehem recovered from a sluggish start to the season to win 15 of 16 games down the stretch before running into Columbia in the Section II Class AA semifinals. Dombrowski was named to the New York State Class AA fifth team.
Notable: Cipperly provided the Lady Knights a steady glove in the middle of the infield, helping lead Lansingburgh (20-5) to its first Section II title since 2000. At the plate, she drove in 19 runs and posted a .419 batting average. Cipperly was a third team All-State Class A pick.
Notable: For the second consecutive season Arceneaux guided the Red Raiders to a New York State championship, this time Mechanicville’s first in Class B. The team had won five Class C state titles since 2000 prior to 2009. She went 17-1 in the pitcher’s circle, striking out 1.4 hitters per inning. At the plate, Arceenaux hit .472 with 28 runs scored and 27 runs batted in. She was named co-New York State Class B Player of the Year.
Notable: Glikes followed up her 2008 Colonial Council MVP season by leading the Lady Knights to a Section II Class A title, going 19-5 with a 0.65 ERA. She struck out 239 batters in 162.2 innings, allowing only 75 hits and 15 earned runs. Glikes, a second team All-State Class A selection, will attend American International College in Springfield, Mass. and study nursing.
Notable: Quackenbush stepped up her game in the Section II postseason, twirling six consecutive shutouts down the stretch, leading the team to its first Section II championship since 1993 and its first regional crown since 1988. Quackenbush finished with a 22-4 record, struck out 334 hitters in 181 innings and was named to the New York State Class C first team. At the plate, she collected 38 hits and drove in 18 runs.
Notable: The Suburban Council MVP shone in the spotlight in this, her first full season as the Blue Devils’ ace. Servidone went 18-5 in the pitcher’s circle with a 0.89 ERA, striking out 175 in 156.2 innings. She also hit in the cleanup spot in Columbia’s order, driving in eight runs and connecting on 19 hits. Servidone was a second team Class AA All-State selection.
C Shannon Dougherty, Sr., Columbia 83 11 26 7 0 0 9 .313 5
1b Laura Loudis, Jr., Colonie 81 16 33 19 2 0 23 .407 NA
2b Kelsey Hines, So., Mechanicville 102 26 45 14 4 1 29 .441 9
3b Alysa Russell, Fr., Mechanicville 101 31 33 5 5 1 13 .327 4
ss Jamie Van Bramer, Sr., Waterford 67 23 28 8 4 2 32 .418 3
of Natalie Triano, Sr., Colonie 73 22 36 3 1 1 10 .493 NA
of Stephanie Ostrander, Jr., Schuylerville 90 31 31 8 1 4 14 .344 8
of Sarah Karpovich, Sr., Holy Names NA 18 NA 3 2 2 11 .327 4
dh Leanne Merchant, Sr., Burnt Hills 73 15 34 8 0 6 21 .466 1
ut Shannon McBride, Jr., Mechanicville 81 16 35 9 1 0 22 .432 8
P Toni Edwards, So., Bethlehem 18 5 1.26 150 68 243 22 9
P Julie Brinkman, Fr., Troy 11 2 0.59 96 NA 112 NA NA
P Jami Cordell, Sr., Colonie 13 5 0.98 100 51 148 NA NA
C Eileen Farrell, Sr., Hoosic Valley 53 15 11 5 2 2 13 .377 NA
1b Katie McGreevey, So., Waterford 69 19 30 3 2 1 28 .319 2
2b Aimee Lefebvre, Jr., Waterford 74 33 31 2 5 2 28 .419 15
3b Kayla Cole, Jr., Lansingburgh 75 15 20 2 1 0 17 .267 0
ss Emily O’Donnell, So., Niskayuna 69 32 25 8 1 0 10 .362 4
of Courtney Sullivan, Jr., Bethlehem 61 7 14 0 0 0 4 .230 3
of Caitlyn Rana, Sr., Burnt Hills 67 18 14 1 1 0 5 .209 6
of Megan Price, Jr., Niskayuna 84 17 31 9 0 4 11 .396 0
dh Emily Jones, Sr., Troy 73 22 24 9 1 4 20 .328 NA
ut Carly Pine, Sr., Hoosick Falls 104 26 29 6 2 1 14 .279 5
W L ERA IP BB SO CG SHO
P Katie Cahrenger, Sr., Waterford 15 5 1.70 128 44 136 13 3
P Carlee Chapko, Sr., Hoosic Valley 12 8 1.78 126 27 160 19 2
P Sarah Harrison, Jr., Cobleskill 18 7 0.66 NA NA 310 NA 9
P Courtney Dayter, Fr., Cohoes 10 8 1.97 124 47 126 18 5
1b: Melissa Bell (Sr., Lansingburgh), Joelle DiDomenico (Jr., Mechanicville), Katie Kovage (So., Hoosick Falls)
2b: Sara Crowley (Jr., Stillwater), Gabby Daniels (So., Troy) Kaci Madden (Sr., Saratoga Springs), Carly Pine (Sr., Hoosick Falls), Chrissy Sanderson (Jr., Hoosic Valley), Bailei Tetrault (So., Cohoes), Sam Woitkoski (So., Lansingburgh)
3b: Megan Burns (So., Bethlehem), Hillary Faas (Jr., Columbia), Shelby Gratton (Sr., Cohoes)
ss: Sam Anderson (Sr., Hoosic Valley), Hannah Kutny (Fr., Catholic Central), Jenna Priore (Jr., Hoosick Falls)
of: Amanda Bitting (Sr., Stillwater), Stephanie Bouchard (Jr., Catholic Central), Dani DeGregory (Fr., Greenwich), Meg Hallenbeck (Jr., Columbia), Carolyn Houston (Sr., Hoosic Valley), Nicole LaCroix (Sr., Hoosick Falls), Kayla Lewandowksi (Jr., Troy)
p: Rachel Annello (So., Niskayuna) Liz Belleville (So., Troy), Maddie Coneys (So., Catholic Central), Mandy Ferro (Sr., Shenendehowa), Amber Gokey (Fr., Tamarac), Emily Ostrom (Jr., Burnt Hills), Erica Vallecorsa (Fr., Shaker)
Lansingburgh High School head coach John Cipperly (pictured above) was named The Record's 2009 High School Softball Coach of the Year.
TROY - Lansingburgh High School varsity head softball coach John Cipperly has been coaching the team for so long, he can’t quite remember the exact year he took the top job.
He has seen many changes in the game since the early 1990s and made many adaptations, but his biggest innovation – employing an entourage of assistant coaches – proved to be just what the Lady Knights needed in 2009.
Jeff Glikes, Jim Volz, Paul Woitkoski, Ken Church and Stephanie Martinelli (nee Goodspeed), who pitched for Cipperly the last time Lansingburgh won a Section II Class A title in 2000, provided Cipperly an excellent support staff and gave the Lansingburgh players plenty of one-on-one attention in practices.
No. 2 seed Lansingburgh handed South Glens Falls a 4-2 defeat in the 2009 Section II Class A championship game, returning the Knights to the New York State regional round for the first time in nine years. For their efforts, Cipperly and his staff have been named The Record’s 2009 High School Softball Coaches of the Year.
"I’m old enough, I guess, to not have any ego concerns or be worried that everyone might think I’m the only guy in charge," Cipperly said. "I had to step back and take a look at how we could all get along well, both the players and the coaching staff. I think that was the key in that everybody contributed in some way."
South High was Lansingburgh’s nemesis in postseason play after 2000, as the Bulldogs won seven Section II titles from 2001-08.
But Cipperly and his staff kept the Knights grounded throughout the year, setting reasonable goals as the season progressed rather than instill a Section II championship dream on the first day of practice.
Lansingburgh won its invitational tournament, defeating Tamarac and Hoosick Falls, but lost by one run to Troy in the Uncle Sam Tournament title game and finished second to Mechanicville in the Colonial Council regular season by a single game.
Once it came time for the three-game run through the Section II playoffs, the Lady Knights set their sights on the short season knowing exactly what they needed to do to bring a Class A championship back to North Troy.
"We didn’t go into sectionals in awe," said Cipperly. "We went in with a purpose. And with our slogan ‘Make it Happen’, we honestly made that our approach."
With a loss to Malone-Franklin Academy in the regional semifinal, the Lady Knights finished the season 20-5, ranked No. 6 among Class A teams in New York State.
Cipperly may have coached teams with more talent top-to-bottom in the past, but he said he had never seen a team with as positive an attitude as his 2009 squad.
"When we had success in 2000, we had lots of athletic ability and lots of kids that were confident," Cipperly said. "They knew they were good.
"But the impressive thing about this team," he continued, "was that the kids didn’t necessarily come into the season seeing themselves as being so good, whether they were good or not. But they worked well as a team, believed in each other and knew that they could compete on any given day."