Friday, April 23, 2010

Amyot is Shen's, and perhaps the Suburban's, top gun

Shenendehowa High School senior pitcher Danny Amyot fires a pitch toward home plate during Friday's game at Columbia High School. Amyot struck out 18 Columbia batters in the 6-0 victory for the Lady Plainsmen. (All photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

It wasn't a perfect game for Shen's Danny Amyot, but it was about close as you can get to a flawless performance.

In a battle of Suburban Council unbeatens, Amyot recorded the first four outs via the strikeout and the trend continued.

Shen’s senior righthander made 20 of the Lady Plainsmen’s 21 putouts, setting down 18 Blue Devils batters via the strikeout. While Amyot didn’t really need her teammates on defense, they certainly came through at the plate.

Karen Sweeney, Giuliana Figlomeni and Marlin Solano - Shen’s No. 2, 3 and 4 hitters - hit consecutive singles on three straight pitches from Columbia ace Jena Servidone in the top of the first inning, giving Amyot a one-run lead. It was all she would need in the 6-0 victory.

Shen's Samantha Cook (left), Danny Amyot and catcher Maggie Quinn confer in the infield during Friday's game against Columbia.

Shen's hitting provided plenty of offense behind Amyot. Third baseman Giuliana Figlomeni led the way with three hits (she also made a sacrifice bunt) and Karen Sweeney and Marlin Solano added two hits apiece for the Lady Plainsmen (7-0, 9-0).

Shen tagged Columbia's Jena Servidone, the reigning Suburban Council MVP, for four earned runs on 10 base hits.

Columbia shortstop Kasey Ochs prepares to apply the tag to Shen pinch-runner Dawn Ceremunga during Friday's game.

There were a pair of strange plays on the bases Friday afternoon.

In the third inning - the play is pictured below - Shen's Karen Sweeney advanced to second base on Giuliana Figlomeni's sacrifice bunt, but took an aggressive turn around the bag. Columbia first baseman Anna Carey whipped the ball to shortstop Kasey Ochs, who tried to tag Sweeney out, but she made it back to the base just in the nick of time.

Shen's Karen Sweeney slides into second base safely after overrunning the bag on a sacrifice bunt by teammate Giuliana Figlomeni.

Later in the game - see the video for this clip - it appeared as if Shen catcher Maggie Quinn drove in a pair of runs on a sixth inning single. However, pinch-runner Dawn Ceremunga was later called out after the umpires conferred to rule that Columbia catcher Suzanne Pelton had in fact applied the tag in time.

Shen was already way ahead and the run turned out not to matter in the outcome, but it was strange to see an umpire reverse a call about a minute after it happened. It's hard to tell from the video, but hopefully it was indeed the right call.

Columbia High School senior pitcher Jena Servidone throws a pitch during Friday's game.

The Shen hitters struck in the first inning, connecting on three straight singles on three consecutive pitches from Servidone.

Maggie Quinn scored on a wild pitch in the second inning and Quinn drove in one run on the aforementioned controversial single in the sixth. In the seventh, Shen pounced for three more runs on three hits and a critical throwing error by the Blue Devils.

Columbia (6-1, 10-1) certainly still one of the favorites in the Section II Class AA race, but Shenendehowa really made a statement by absolutely dominating in the 6-0 victory.

Shen's Danny Amyot makes a toss to first base to record one of her 20 putouts in Friday's game against Columbia.

Bethlehem (6-0, 6-0) is also lurking in the Suburban Council and the Eagles players used their off day to enjoy Friday's game from the hill behind home plate. Columbia travels to Delmar on Tuesday for another big game.

Guilderland's Cori Hilt threw a no-hitter against Ballston Spa today, so the Lady Dutch are also a team to watch. Teams like Burnt Hills and Niskayuna will also have to be reckoned with in the tough-as-nails Suburban Council this season.

Click on the box score to see a larger version.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, great win for Shen! - really a bit surprising given the recent statewide rankings; Columbia ranked NYS Class AA #4 and Shen #10. With so many graduations of key players on both of these teams from last season the biggest shock is probably how much improvement Danny Amyot has made and how dominant Shen was over Columbia in yesterday's victory.

Lots of big games left for both of these teams before Sectionals. Shen has two games left with Niskayuna and one with Bethlehem, Columbia has two left with Bethlehem, one with Niskayuna, and one left with Colonie who has a very dominant young pitcher in Kelly Lane, if they pitch her. And Bethlehem, even though they have never won anything, are they the real deal or are they undefeated because they haven't really played anyone yet? Should be an interesting finish in the Suburban Council both in the North and South Divisions and in the Sectionals where seedings are going to be critical to winning a Section 2 title and going on to States.

Regardless, its pretty obvious there isn't a team in the Big 10 (not even Troy or CCHS) that is deserving of any one of the top 5 or 6 seeds over a Suburban Council team if Sectionals were held today and Queensbury is having an off year as well. As usual, head to head, most Suburban Council teams fare very well against even the best Big 10 programs, so the Suburban Council should have most, if not all, of the top seeds when Sectionals begin.

April 24, 2010 at 8:41 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bethlehem is the real deal in the Suburban. They have all the makings to make it to the State Finals. They have stellar defense, backed by the battery of pitching in Toni Edwards and Erica Palleschi along with Sammy Smaldone behind the plate. Matched with the best SS not only in the sub league but in the entire area. Burns on 3B can attack any bunt defense and much depth up the middle with Dombrowski and Crucetti on 2B, Rice on 1B is the area's top 1B no contest. Not only is she solid on defense but she is one of the top hitters in this area. This matched with the best CF along with Nisky's CF (Sullivan for Beth - Moroukian for Nisky) and sophomore Cassie Smith makes it very hard for any team to score against them. The offense for this team is stacked 1-9, usually you HS Teams have 3-4 offensive threats in the line up, this Bethlehem team is stacked with hitters...hitters of all types!!
I predict them to win the council, regionals, and make the State Tourney

It will come down to them and Shen

But don't count out Columbia, Colonie or Nisky.

Columbia has one of the top pitchers in the area along with some experienced solid upper classman (Hart Faas) behind her in the infield, if they play solid and Servidone pitches a good game, they can contest with anyone.

Colonie - Kelly Lane is the REAL DEAL! With the experience she will gain this season in school ball, along with summer ball (Tremors Gold) she will transition from a hard thrower to a smart pitcher. She has all the makings of being one of the best pitchers to ever come out of this area!!

Don't know where to start here. This team has just as much stacked talent as Bethlehem and was looking forward to a very promising year this season with the battery of Annello-Gilgio & Gray behind the plate.
As well as a solid defense behind them with O'Donnell, Grant, O'Brian Rice, & Moroukian. All of the players mentioned are also a huge threat on offense at any given time. The team seems to be trying to pull it together, but the head coach is causing major problems with the team and unwanted, and unjustified actions by the head coach are causing major emotional heartache to the entire team. This has caused Annello to leave the team for the season and it's my understanding the rest of the team is almost ready to throw in the towel but will try to get thru the rest of the season. Considering the coach went as far as threatening one of the players if she decided to take a school sponsored trip next year that she would feel the need to call the college coach that this player is being recruited by and she would let them know that she isn't a committed player to the high school team. Seriously what kind of a high school coach would call a college coach and bad mouth one of their own players and try and discredit them?? Which would in turn effect her entire life!!!

BIG 10 - is perhaps the weakest council in the area for softball.
Troy will do well, but they don't play anyone that will really threat.

Colonial - Mechanicville or Cohoes (Both have equal strengths an weaknesses an either team can win/loss on any given day to each other)

Wasseran - HV -

Any other thoughts?

April 28, 2010 at 10:35 PM 

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