Sunday, May 30, 2010

If you can't stand the heat....postpone the game

A recent NYSPHSAA ruling is a step in right direction to protecting athletes from the heat, but it’s not perfect

William Montgomery
The Record

(This column will appear in Monday's edition of The Record).

Saratoga Springs track and field athletes take refuge from the sun under an umbrella at Thursday's Section II Class A track and field championships at Shenendehowa High School. (Photos by Mike McMahon - The Record).

When a girls lacrosse game and track and field meet were postponed Wednesday by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s recent heat index procedures, my mind flashed back to the morning of August 1, 2001.

The day before, Minnesota Vikings lineman Korey Stinger ran through drills in full pads at training camp as the heat index – a meteorological tool that combines air temperature and relative humidity to explain how hot it really feels – soared to 110 degrees. Stringer died early in the morning of August 1 due to complications from heat stroke and the news sent shockwaves through the athletic community.

Later that day – I was a soon-to-be junior in high school at the time – I went to session No. 3 of a week-long football camp and can still clearly remember the grizzled, tough-guy coaches who were shaken by the story.

Stringer’s death opened the eyes of coaches, athletes and trainers to the importance of hydration and the dangers of holding games and practices in oppressively hot and sunny conditions. At most high schools in the area, coaches, without a second thought, allow players quick breaks for a gulp of water whenever they feel the need during practice.

Yet on May 1, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association passed a heat index procedure (and a wind chill procedure for late autumn events) that prohibits teams from taking the field if the heat index reaches 96 degrees or above, according to

The NYSPHSAA has three levels of recommendations for coaches if the heat index is 95 degrees or below. Some suggestions include scheduling practices for later in the day when temperatures are lower, removing layers of padding for players and including mandatory water breaks every 15 minutes.

However, if the heat index reaches 96, "no outside activity, practice or contest should be held," reads the official document. "Inside activity should be held only if air-conditioned."

Wednesday, record-setting heat enveloped the Capital Region. The Section II Class A girls track and field meet at Queensbury High School was postponed until Friday after the heat index soared over 100 degrees, based on the zip code entered into

For track and field, which often lacks ample shade for the hundreds of athletes assembled to compete at a meet, the ruling makes sense. For other sports, however, the hard-and-fast ruling left some scratching their heads.

Three Section II girls lacrosse championship games were schedule on the University at Albany’s John Fallon Field, an artificial turf surface. The first game, which was supposed to start at 3:30 p.m., was postponed until Thursday. The other two games were played as scheduled.

Still, the synthetic rubber crumbs in a FieldTurf surface absorb more heat from the sun and make the field feel much hotter than a dirt or grass field. Checking the University at Albany’s zip code on’s does not give an accurate reflection of the true heat index the athletes must have felt on the scorching plastic field.

For the safety of the athletes, perhaps all of the games should have been postponed by relying on common sense and not just a number on a website.

At the sectional softball games played at Veeder Park in Colonie, athletes were directed to their dugouts around 2:30 p.m. when the heat index reached 96. Ten minutes later, an official refreshed the page and found that the heat index had dropped at least one degree, allowing the players to resume warming up for their games in a moment of bizarre bureaucratic rigidity.

Baseball and softball games provide built-in water breaks between every inning and shaded dugouts. These factors should not be ignored in considering whether or not to postpone a game.

The safety of high school athletes should be paramount on the minds of all coaches and administrators. The NYSPHSAA’s recent ruling, however, is nothing but an arbitrary system that could stand to incorporate sport-by-sport refinements.

Albany High School's University at Albany-bound sprinter Kareem Morris stays hydrated during Thursday's Section II Class A track and field meet at Shenendehowa High School.

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Hoosick Falls girls lacrosse taking baby steps

For the first time, Hoosick Falls High School fielded a club-level girls lacrosse team in 2010.

The team could not play any members of Section II in games, but the Panthers played a 10-game schedule against teams from Vermont, Massachusetts and New York teams not recognized by Section II. All funds were raised by the players and their parents.

Starting from scratch, baby steps were needed. The players began to learn the game in the winter in the gym, using tennis balls to master the art of throwing and catching. When the weather warmed up, the players ventured into the parking lot...but they were still using tennis balls as they slowly began to learn the sport.

Remarkably, the team finished with a 6-4 record. "Opposing players, coaches and officials marveled when told this was the first time these players had a stick in their hands," wrote head coach Lisa Ferrannini.
Click the image for a full-size picture.
STANDING: Ashley Granger - third man, Lauren Conte - goalkeeper, Demitri Tracy - attack, Senior co-Captain Sarah Gleason - first home, Senior Julie Luciano - any position, Senior Co-Captain Amanda Sargood - third home, Haley Votra - defense, Bailey Michaels - left attack wing, Keri Wilkins - right attack wing, Catherine Charbonneau - attack or defense wing, Senior Alyssa Luke - center. KNEELING: Maritza Gonzales - defense wing, Amanda Lewsey - defense, Jordyn Gates - center, Alexis Hagadorn - coverpoint, Senior Emily Wilwol - point/center, Hillary Burdick - defense/center, Senior Megan McEachron - second home, Madision Guglielmoni - attack. ABSENT: Emily Everard, Molly Frazier and team manager Garrett Foster. (Photo provided by Lisa Ferrannini).

The team is currently running a pair of fundraising efforts.

The first is "Getting Pinned." For a $20 donation (with checks payable to the "HFCS Student Council") you can "pin" the victim of your choice. The victim will find two dozen pinwheels blowing in their yard. Simply email to "pin" your victim... and the team does the rest!

The other event is Canines & Cars, a dog expo and classic car show to be held (rain or shine)
Sunday, June 6 from Noon to 5 p.m. at Hoosick Falls Central School on Route 22 in Hoosick Falls.
Bring your dog and for $10, enter into a costume contest, best of show, fastest dog and most obedient and much more. Or, come without a dog and admission is $3 adults or $2 for students. No family pays more than $10.

Enjoy dog demonstrations (Police K-9 unit and dog trainer demos), K-9 kissing booth, Doggie Spa - free baths, Vendor booths and a concession stand all day.

Or enter your classic car in the car show and vote for your favorite! Call (518) 857-7115 for more details.

In addition to the sponsors, the team would like to thank Angela Husser from Bennington Sports & Graphics, John Nealon and his crew, especially Mike Tiftt for his perfection at lining the field, Charlie Weeden for ordering the buses, the student council for managing the teams funds and Mike Shea for cutting our checks. Special thanks to Ken Facin and the HFCS board of education for making our team possible.

The team will celebrate its accomplishments at a banquet on Wednesday, June 9 at The Olde Firehouse Restaurant at 6 p.m.

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A money-conscious subconscious: hypnotherapy and promotion in high school sports

Shaker High School sprinter Jaquell Chandler uses hypnotherapy to improve his times on the track.

I wrote a pair of stories for this Sunday's feature section in The Record on how many local athletes are turning to hypnosis in an effort to improve their times on the track and earn college scholarships.

You may read the main feature by clicking here.

Troy High School junior Jordan Canzeri, a standout on the track and the football field, has used hypnotherapy and Next Level Football combines to his advantage in his journey to earning an college scholarship in athletics.

I also wrote a sidebar story on how local hypnotherapist Maggie Ferrari is involved with Next Level Football, an organization that helps increase the level of promotion for high school football players looking to earn scholarships.

For that story, click here.

Shaker High track runners Matt Conti and Chris Herman talk about hypnosis at the Section II Class A track meet Thursday at Shenendehowa High School. They will run for Providence and North Carolina State, respectively. (Photos by Mike McMahon - The Record).

It is certainly a fascinating topic, yet it also has its critics.

Most local high school coaches with athletes that use hypnotherapy will not comment on the record about the issue. Some feel that it's just a bunch of mind tricks, while others would rather have their athletes simply focus on physical preparation. There is also a fine line between the positive goal-setting in the hypnotherapy sessions and an inflated sense of ego in young athletes that may have repercussions down the line.

What do you think? Is it safe for athletes to undergo hypnotherapy in an effort to shave seconds off their times and perhaps earn an athletic scholarship?

Is this the new wave of the future in sports? In what other ways are athletes gaining an edge on the competition beside the old standbys of more repetitions in practice and more time in the weight room?

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2010 GymRat Challenge

Update No. 2: Andrew Santillo covered the event Saturday and caught up with Siena College recruit Rob Poole. For the story, click here to read it on

Our Andrew Santillo has a story on the Capital District Raptors, which you can read by clicking over to

The 2010 GymRat Challenge boys basketball tournament will be held this weekend at Siena, UAlbany and Skidmore Colleges.

212 teams and 2,400 players are expected to attend, making it one of the largest tournaments in the northeast.

We hope to have coverage this weekend and you can also read more at Steve Amedio's MAAC basketball blog, Keepin' Track of the MAAC.

There will be plenty of future Division I players in attendance, so catch them on the way up.

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Roth picks Hartford

Maple Hill High School's 6-foot-2 junior center Katie Roth has given her verbal commitment to Coach Jen Rizzotti to play for the University of Hartford beginning in the 2011-2012 season. She will make stops in Albany every year, as the Hawks compete in the America East Conference with the University at Albany's Great Danes. Roth chose Hartford over Fordham, Siena and Marist.

Mark Bubniak, Maple Hill's girls basketball coach and athletic director, confirmed the news.

(Photos by Tom Killips - The Record)

During the 2009-10 regular season, the Patroon Conference’s MVP carried the Maple Hill High girls basketball team farther than it had ever advanced before – the New York State Class C Final Four. Roth, who averaged 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and four blocks per game, was a second team All-State selection. Maple Hill was ranked No. 1 in the state for much of the 2009-10 season. The Wildcats have won 64 consecutive games in Patroon Conference play.

Roth is also an accomplished track and field athlete and hopes to earn a trip to the New York State meet in the discus toss this spring.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday's Section II Class A lacrosse roundup

Bethlehem's Eric Halek celebrates a goal - he scored four - in Saturday's 8-6 Section II Class A semifinal victory over Christian Brothers Academy. (Photos by Mike McMahon - The Record).

Competing in Bethlehem High’s first sectional semifinal in boys lacrosse, Erik Halek and his teammates had nothing to lose.

With the Eagles brimming with confidence which grew throughout the game, Halek, a senior attackman who played through an ankle injury, scored four goals as Bethlehem forged an early lead and held off a furious comeback bid to oust Christian Brothers Academy, 8-6 on Saturday in a Class A semifinal at CBA.

By reaching the first sectional final in the history of the program, the third-seeded Eagles (12-6) denied the second-seeded Brothers (13-5) a trip in what would have been their first title game.

"This is the furthest we’ve gone in school history," Halek said. "This is a huge step for our program."

The Eagles advance to face top-seeded Shenendehowa (17-1) in the Class A final on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the University at Albany.

Our Chris Fitz Gerald caught the CBA game, as well as Shen's 12-5 victory over Guilderland. Look for his full story on both games in Sunday's edition of The Record.

Bethlehem (12-6) 1 2 3 2 - 8
CBA (13-5) 0 2 1 3 - 6
Scoring: Bethlehem - Johnson, 2-0; Halek, 4-0; Wagner, 1-0; Drew, 1-0. CBA - Medici, 1-1; Cassin, 1-1; Bassett, 2-1; Risler, 0-1; Jensen, 1-0; Sherman, 1-1.
Goalie saves: Bethlehem - Ferguson, 13. CBA - Hans, 13.

Guilderland 1 0 2 2 - 5
Shenendehowa 5 3 3 1 - 12
Scoring: Guilderland - Sellie, 2-0; Jones, 1-2; Somers, 1-0; Wood, 1-0; Dyer, 0-2; Stanish, 0-1. Shenendehowa - Connors, 1-0; Jenkins, 3-1; Daly 3-0; Stephens, 2-0; Arnold, 0-1; Coll, 3-2; Powell, 0-1.
Goalie saves: Guilderland - Klim, 13; DePersis, 0. Shenendehowa - Wardwell, 13; Woloss, 1.

CBA's Jack Reilly navigates through the Bethlehem defense during Saturday's Section II Class A playoff game at CBA.

Every Sunday in The Record, we will be featuring a local athlete to give you a glimpse of their lives far away from the playing fields. This week, we featured Christian Brothers Academy senior Jack Reilly, who is headed to Johns Hopkins on a lacrosse scholarship. Here were Reilly's answers to our questions:

Class: Senior/2010
College I will attend: Johns Hopkins.
What’s on TV: Sportscenter, espn2, ESPNU.
What’s in my IPod: A lot of variety; rap, a lot of pre-game warmup songs and rock songs - all different kinds of music.
Favorite Flicks: Remember The Titans.
What’s I’m reading: Inside Lacrosse magazine, ESPN the Magazine.
Love to trade places for a day with: Michael Jordan or Steve Forbes. Someone in his field who is very, very powerful.
Talent I’d most like to have: I’d like to be able to do back flips.
Favorite Meal: Spaghetti and meatballs.
Favorite athletes I watch in different sports: Alfonso Soriano of the Chicago Cubs, even though I’m a Mets fan; Lebron James in basketball and (Landon) Donovan of U.S. soccer.
Favorite place to visit: Probably home. When I’m not out playing sports and traveling a lot with lacrosse and stuff like that, I like to stay at home.
Favorite sports teams: New York Mets, Boston Celtics and the New York Jets.
Favorite physical attribute: Being able to jump into certain situations and do certain things to help the team out.
Favorite subjects: Math and History.
Favorite Restaurant: Mario’s in Niskayuna and Lombardo’s in Albany.
Friday night, there isn’t a game and I’m: Get together with a few friends, get a slice of pizza or go see a movie, but mostly I’d be sleeping. I would be resting up because of all the running and everything I’m doing - I love to sleep.
Heroes: For long time was hero was Tiger Woods before the incident happened. On the field, I’d have to say him. But off the field, I would say Jackie Robinson by far he’s somebody to look up to.
Superstitions: A lot of people ask that, but I can’t say because they’ll be broken. I will say that my dad does cut my hair before every single game and I have to sit in the exact same chair.
My Motto: It’s a motto my mom and I came up with that I have written up on the wall - ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.’

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La Salle and Hoosick Falls bow out in semis, but Averill Park moves on

Hoosick Falls' John Lancour catches a ball as a Canajoharie runner slides in front of him during Saturday's Section II Class CC semifinal game at Bleecker Stadium. Canajoharie won, 7-2. (Photos by Mike McMahon - The Record).

ALBANY -- Saturday afternoon against Canajoharie in the Section II Class CC semifinals, the Hoosick Falls High School baseball team did not play the way that had carried them to a share of the 2010 Wasaren League regular season title.

The No. 2 seeded Panthers were no-hit through five innings and committed seven errors in a 7-2 defeat at the hands of No. 3 seeded Canajoharie.

Canajoharie will face No.5 Chatham for the Class CC Championship at Joe Bruno Stadium on Tuesday. Game time is 7 p.m.

Hoosick Falls sophomore pitcher Cody LaFlamme deals during Saturday's Section II Class CC semifinal at Bleecker Stadium in Albany.

"It's just one of those games," Hoosick Falls head coach Mike Lilac Jr. said. "We didn't play well offensively or defensively, but we were still one base hit away in the sixth from making it a 5-4 game. We just gave them too many runs and in this stage of the season you just can't do that."

For Ryan Kircher's full story, check out Sunday's edition of The Record.

It was a great year for the boys teams in Hoosick Falls, as the football team advanced to the New York State Class C semifinals and the basketball team played in the Section II Class C title game. This baseball will be back in years to come, as it is packed with young talent.

Here in Troy, the La Salle Institute baseball team lost a wacky 7-5 game to Guilderland in the Section II Class AA semifinals at Joe Bruno Stadium. Here is the lead to my story, but for the full thing, check out Sunday's edition of The Record.

TROY -- The La Salle Institute baseball fans stood and turned their caps inside out in the seventh inning, and just like that, the Cadets began to rally.

La Salle strung together three straight singles with two out in the final frame and Guilderland’s Vinny Tamburello threw two balls to open the at-bat against Cadets catcher Will Remillard.

On the next pitch, Remillard flied out to left field for the final out, as the Suburban Council’s No. 6 seed, Guilderland, posted a wild 7-5 victory over the Cadets in a Section II Class AA semifinal at Joe Bruno Stadium.

Tamburello worked out of bases-loaded jams in the sixth and seventh innings to save the win for Guilderland starter Eddy Pierce. After walking the first batter he faced with the bases loaded in the sixth, Tamburello used a strikeout and a sharp play by third base¬man Tyler Hines to escape otherwise unharmed.

"He has a lot of guts and he has a lot of heart," Guilderland head coach Doug LaValley said of Tamburello, his junior lefthander. "He has ice water running through his veins. He wants the ball. You want a guy out there that isn’t afraid and he’s the guy for us."

Here is Saturday's roundup, which features the No. 7 seeded Averill Park baseball team winning a big game in the Class A semifinals.

AMSTERDAM – Brothers Dylan and Josh Sprague had the key hits in the final inning Saturday as Averill Park rallied for two runs in the seventh inning and earned a berth in the Section II Class A championship game with a 6-5 victory over South Glens Falls at Shuttleworth Park.
The 10-11 Warriors will battle Ichabod Crane for the Class A title at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Joe Bruno Stadium. Brian Hardy opened the Averill Park seventh with a single and was sacrificed to second by Andrew Fasoldt.
With two out, Dylan Sprague singled home Hardy with the tying run, and after Nick Cioffi singled, Josh Sprague lined a single for the game-winning run.
Cioffi, the third Averill Park pitcher of the game, then struck out all three batters he faced in the bottom of the seventh for his first save.
Cioffi had three hits, including a two-run triple that pulled the Warriors into a 4-4 tie in the fifth inning. Dylan Sprague totaled three hits as well.
Mitch Fearis ripped a two-run triple in the first inning for SGF and catcher Davis Turner hit a solo homer than put the 12-10 Bulldogs ahead 5-4 in the fifth.
Ichabod Crane 7, Burnt Hills 0: Zack Albery doubled and singled to spark the top-seeded Riders to a semifinal victory in Amsterdam.
Bryan Smith chipped in with two singles for Patroon Conference champion Ichabod Crane (21-1).
Keaton Flint doubled and singled for the fifth-seeded Spartans (13-9).

Class AA

Saratoga Springs 4, Colonie 3: The Blue Streaks advanced to Thursday’s Section II championship game against Guilderland.

Class B

Granville 8, Hudson 7: The Golden Horde (19-3) scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to advance to the championship round.
Granville will face Saratoga Catholic on Wednesday at Joe Bruno Stadium at 4 p.m.
Connor Hoagland hit a two-run home run for the Golden Horde, while Jayson Osborne had two hits.
Jared Clark was 3-for-4 with a triple for the Bluehawks.
Saratoga Catholic 11, Mechanicville 3: The Saints eliminated the Red Raiders in a Class B semifinal game.

Class CC

Chatham 8, Schoharie 3: The Panthers topped No. 1 seeded Schoharie in the Class CC semifinals and will face Canajoharie in the finals Tuesday at Joe Bruno Stadium.

Class C

Greenwich 5, Lake George 3: The Witches, the No. 4 seed, upset No. 1 Lake George in a semifinal at the Plumeri Complex in Albany.
Fort Plain 3, Duanesburg 2: The No. 2 seeded Hilltoppers edged No. 3 Duanesburg to clinch a date in Tuesday’s Section II Class C championship game at 4 p.m. at Joe Bruno Stadium.

Class D

Germantown 17, Fort Edward 5: The Clippers, the No. 1 seed, advanced to the Section II title game with a semi¬final win over No. 4 Fort Edward.
Fort Ann 11, Loudonville Christian 4: The Eagles were eliminated in the semifinal round of the Section II playoffs.

Boys Track and Field
Class C: Adam Stewart won two individual events (200-meter dash, 23.1 seconds; long jump, 19-feet-9½ inches) to pace Rensselaer to a third-place finish in the Class C champi¬onship meet at Fort Plain.
Dylan Davis also won the shot put (40-4) for the Rams, which prevailed in the 1,600 relay.
Class CC: Maple Hill won both the boys and girls team championships at Stillwater.
Individual results were not provided.
Whitehall won the meet with 135 points, with Schenectady Christian (132) and Rensselaer completing the top three.

Girls Track and Field

Class C: Roxanne Henningson was a triple winner (800 run, 2:25.6; 1,500 run, 4:49.7; 3,000 run (10:52.7) to spark Greenwich to the team championship.
Keila Judge won the 100 dash (13.1) and Venus Vasquez prevailed in the 100 hurdles (16.9) to pace Rensselaer to a fifth-place team finish.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Shen holds off 'Toga in girls Section II Class A track and field meet

Shaker High School freshman Madison Rowland attempts to clear the high jump bar at the 2010 Section II Class A girls track and field meet held at South Colonie High School Friday. Rowland placed first with a leap of five feet, four inches. (All photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

COLONIE - The Shenendehowa High School girls track team had a plan and it was executed to perfection.

The Lady Plainsmen employed a well balanced attack to earn a second straight Section II Class A outdoor track and field team title, defeating rival Saratoga Springs 124-113½ at Colonie High School.

"This is what our whole season is about," Shenendehowa head coach Rob Cloutier said. "As a team, this is what we do."

Shenendehowa athletes won five individual events and strategically finished in bunches to gain the most team points.

Our Ryan Kircher covered the event and has done a fantastic job chronicling track and field in Section II this season. To read the full story, check out Saturday's edition of The Record.

Saratoga Springs senior Madalayne Smith clears a hurdle at Friday's Section II Class A championship meet. She finished first in the 100 meter dash and 100 meter hurdles, leading the Blue Streaks to a second place team finish.

Individually, Colonie's Kyle Plante won three sectional titles in the 400 hurdles (1:03.3), long jump (17-03.75) and as the anchor leg of the Raiders 4x400 meter relay team.

Saratoga’s Madalayne Smith ran back-to-back first-place finishes in the 100 meter hurdles and the 100 meter dash.

Shaker High School freshman Madison Rowland made an impressive sectional appearance by winning the high jump with a leap of 5-4.

Colonie sophomore Kyle Plante leads the pack in the 400 meter hurdles, which she won in a time of 1:03.3. She also finished first in the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, three and three quarters of one inch.

The Troy High School girls didn't take home any sectional titles but they did continue to rewrite the school record book. Troy set a new school mark in the 4x400 meter relay for the third time this season with a 4:00.7. Jenette Williams, Alexis Jordan, Courtney Avery and Bianca Jordan took second behind Colonie.

Flying Horses junior Lativia Perkins ran a personal best and new school record 15.1 for a third place finish in the 100 meter hurdles. She'll get another shot to break her own record at state qualifiers next week in Johnstown.

"I'm happy with a personal record," Perkins said. "I'm excited for next week and to have another chance."

Caysie Capano is also headed to state qualifiers for the shot and the discuss. The Flying Horses sophomore took fifth in the shot put with a throw of 33-7.75.

Section II Class A Championships at South Colonie High School
Team scores: Shenendehowa 124, Saratoga 113.5, Colonie 95, Queensbury 58, Shaker 53.75, Schenectady 37, Ballston Spa 32.75, Troy 30, Niskayuna 17, Guilderland 12, Bethlehem 8, Columbia 4, Albany 2, Amsterdam 2.
Individual Events: 100M-Smith (Sara) 11.8, 200M-Fredette (Sara) 26, 400M-Klein (Shen) 58.3, 800M-Bellon (Sara) 2:11.2, 1500M-Predmore (Shen) 4:34, 3000M-Irving (Shen) 9:58.3, 100H-Smith (Sara)14.3, 400H-Plante (1:03.3), 2000MStpple-D. Winslow (Queens)6:57.8, 4x100MR-Schenectady (Shapiro, Thompson, Joseph, Anderson) 49.6, 4x400MR-Colonie (Lenge, Omorogbe, Guidarelli, Plante) 3:54.9, 4x800MR-Saratoga (Hollowood, Driscoll, Treichel, Bellon) 9:08.2, HJ-Rowland (SHK) 5-04, PV-Weekes (Shen) 10-06, LJ-Plante (Colo) 17-03.75), TJ-Shapiro (Scty) 36-10.25, D-Coles (Colo) 116-02, SP-Kosa (Shen) 40-07.25, Pentathlon: Demarco (Queens) 2,655, 100H-Demarco (Queens) 16.4, SP-Demarco (Queens) 7.4m, HJ-Tapler (Guild) 1.52m, LJ-Schroeder (Amst) 4.64m, 800M-Peck (Sara) 2:33.4.

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If the slipper fits, wear it - Hoosic Valley moving on to Section II title game; Friday's softball roundup

Hoosic Valley's Cinderella run through the Section II Class CC bracket continued Friday afternoon as the No. 8 seeded Indians defeated No. 4 Maple Hill in a semifinal round contest.

Hoosic Valley sophomore pitcher Morgan Anderson deals against No. 4 seed Maple Hill during Friday's Section II Class CC semifinal at Clifton Common. Anderson struck out eight and earned the win in a 13-2 victory over the Wildcats. (Photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Tuesday morning, the Hoosic Valley Indians were not even sure they would be competing in the Section II postseason in 2010. Friday afternoon, the team had punched its ticket to the Class CC championship game.

The Indians rapped out 10 hits and scored 13 runs against No. 4 seed Maple Hill, posting a 13-2 victory at Clifton Common.

"We weren’t even supposed to make it into sectionals and it’s just really great that we’ve come this far," sophomore right fielder Rachel Moore said. "Our team has done really great and all the teams we have played have been really great. It’s been fun."

Hoosic Valley finished the regular sea¬son in the Wasaren League with a 6-8 record, one win short of the automatic qualifier for the postseason, a .500 conference record. The Section II committee, however, can award berths to teams on the bubble at its discretion.

"We didn’t make it, so we thought we’d petition in and whatever happens, happens," Hoosic Valley head coach Blake Bochette said. "We felt like the league was strong enough and that we were strong enough that we could compete in sectionals. So we just petitioned in, they let us in and from there on out, we’ve been ready to play."

For the full story, check out Saturday's edition of The Record.

Maple Hill first baseman Lauren Aitken snares a throw from catcher Bri Roe to force Hoosic Valley's Whitney Kugler (15) out in the first inning of Friday's game.

The Indians topped No. 9 Schoharie in a play-in game Tuesday in Colonie, 10-4. Wednesday, they traveled to Queensbury to face No. 1 Lake George, blanking the Warriors, 2-0.

"We got really excited when we beat Lake George and now we’re going to the finals and we’re all shocked," said senior center fielder Beth Drescher. "We’re excited. We’re ready to go. We’re really ready."

Hoosic Valley second baseman Chrissy Sanderson makes a throw to first base during Friday's game against Maple Hill.

A big part of Hoosic Valley's success in the playoffs has been its defense. Sophomore pitcher Morgan Anderson isn't a fireballing type that can simply blow hitters away. She relies on a low ball and the defense behind her to collect the outs.

Anderson struck out eight in Friday's game, allowing two earned runs on five hits and one walk.

In Wednesday's Section II Class CC championship game against No. 2 Hoosick Falls, the Indians will be facing the polar opposite in Panthers' sophomore ace Rachel Quackenbush, one of the, if not the, best arms in the area.

Hoosic Valley senior center fielder Beth Drescher collected three hits and scored three runs in Friday's victory over Maple Hill.

Hoosick Falls won both Wasaren League games over Hoosic Valley by a combined score of 5-0.

Still, the Indians won't be stressing out about having to face Quackenbush for a third time.

"We know what to expect," Drescher said. "We’re pumped now and we know we have to beat them and it’s going to be a close game no matter what. We’re really going to show them we deserve it. It should be a good game."

Hoosick Falls knocked out Hoosic Valley in the Section II Class CC semifinals in 2009 en route to a berth in the New York State Final Four.

Hoosic Valley sophomore right fielder Rachel Moore hit a triple and a double in Friday's game.

For Moore, Friday's game also had a bit of history behind it. She was eliminated from the postseason on the soccer and basketball teams this year guessed it...Maple Hill.

"They’re a great team and we really wanted to beat them because of that, too," Moore laughed.

Click on the box score for a full-size image.

Here is Friday's roundup. Check back Saturday for news and notes from the 12 high school baseball semifinals that will be played as well as CBA's Section II semifinal lacrosse game against Bethlehem.

High Schools
Class CC Semifinals
Hoosick Falls 2, Chatham 0: Rachel Quackenbush struck out 14 and had the only two hits for the Panthers as the No. 2 seed advanced into the championship game.
Hoosick Falls will meet Wasaren League foe and rival Hoosic Valley in the championship game on Wednesday at Clifton Commons.
Quackenbush and Frankie Pearson both scored runs for the Panthers.
Class C Semifinals
Greenwich 6, Loudonville Christian 0: The No. 6 seed Witches (9-11) continued their magical run, getting 15 strikeouts from Sarah Heimbach to advance to Wednesday’s Class C Final.
Heimbach, who also doubled in the game, hasn’t given up a run in two sectional victories in the circle.
Sarah Gailbraith doubled home three runs in the seventh to solidify the victory for Greenwich.
Dani DeGregory had two hits and stole three bases, while Alicyn Stein added two hits and drove in three runs for the Witches, who meet top-seeded Duanesburg at 3 p.m. at Clifton Commons in the title game.
Duanesburg topped Mayfield 5-0 in the other Class C semifinal.

Next week's softball schedule:
Tuesday, June 1
Class AA
At Adirondack Dome, Queensbury
9 Colonie vs. 5 Saratoga, 4 p.m.
At Veeder Park, Colonie
2 Bethlehem vs. 3 Columbia, 4 p.m.

Class A
At Veeder Park, Colonie
6 Burnt Hills vs. 2 Ichabod Crane, 4 p.m.
At Adirondack Dome, Queensbury
5 Averill Park vs. 1 South Glens Falls, 4 p.m.

Class B
At Veeder Park Colonie
2 Cohoes vs. 3 Taconic Hills, 4 p.m.
At Adirondack Dome, Queensbury
1 Mechanicville vs. 5 Schuylerville, 4 p.m.

Class D
At Veeder Park, Colonie
4 Argyle vs. 1 Germantown, 4 p.m.
At Adirondack Dome, Queensbury
3 Fort Ann vs. 2 Hartford, 4 p.m.

Wednesday, June 2
Both games at Clifton Common
Class CC Final
8 Hoosic Valley vs. 9 Hoosick Falls, 3 p.m.
Class C Final
6 Greenwich vs. 1 Duanesburg, 3 p.m.

Friday, June 4
All games at Clifton Common
Class AA
Final, 5 p.m.
Class A
Final, 5 p.m.
Class B
Final, 5 p.m.
Class CC/C
Playoff, 5 p.m.
Class D
Final, 5 p.m.

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2010 US Lacrosse Awards

Rich Scully, Christian Brothers Academy's Athletic Director, sent us the following note on behalf of the Section II Lacrosse Committee.

CBA senior Jack Reilly was named to the 2010 US Lacrosse High School boys All-American team. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Christian Brothers Academy and Niskayuna High School placed 2 players each on the 2010 US Lacrosse High School Boys All-American Team.

Niskayuna's Ryan Alden (Harvard) and Mark Panneton (Cortland) joined CBA's Jack Reilly (Johns Hopkins) , Dan Sipperly (Bryant) and Shenendehowa's junior goalie Bob Wardwell on the team.

A pair of Clarkson University-bound seniors were named Academic All-Americans. South Glens Falls defenseman Tim Boller and CBA's goalie Shane Hans were both named Academic All-American. Both student-athletes will major in engineering and play lacrosse at Clarkson next year.

Burnt Hills first year head coach Tom Schwan was named Coach of the Year. Jason Gifford, a first-year assistant at Shenendehowa, was named Assistant Coach of the Year. Section II Lacrosse Coordinator Bob Gula was named US Lacrosse Man of the Year.

All recipients will be recognized at the annual Adirondack Chapter dinner.

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Jackson shines at 2010 Section II Class A boys track and field meet

Troy High's Travon Jackson arches over the high jump bar at Thursday's Section II Class A track and field meet at Shenendehowa High School. Jackson won the pentathlon. (Photos by Mike McMahon - The Record).

CLIFTON PARK -- Troy High School's Travon Jackson picked a good time to give the pentathlon another shot.

The Flying Horses junior placed first in four of five events and scored 3,268 points to win the pentathlon at the Section II Class A boys track and field championships at Shenendehowa High School.

Jackson placed first in the 110 meter hurdles, high jump, long jump and 1500 meters in his first attempt at the pentathlon this season.

"It was a good day," Jackson said after gutting a win in the 1500 meters, the final event of the day.

For the full story, check out the story in Friday's edition of The Record written by Ryan Kircher. He'll also be covering the girls' meet Friday at South Colonie High School.

Troy High's Jordan Canzeri (right) attempts to edge out an Albany High runner during Thursday's Section II Class A track and field meet at Shenendehowa High School.

2010 Section II Class A boys track and field meet at Shenendehowa
Team scores: Shenendehowa 135, Shaker 133, Albany 111.5, Ballston Spa 67, La Salle 34, Colonie 24, Saratoga 23, Bethlehem 11.5, Troy 11, Queensbury 6, Schenectady 5, Amsterdam 4, Guilderland 4, CBA 4, Columbia 2, Queensbury 1.
Individual results: 100M-Morris (AHS), 11.03, 200M-Morris(AHS), 22.34, 400M-Campoli (Shen), 48.95, 800M-Herman (Shak), 1:55.48, 1600M-Harris (Shen), 4:19.17, 3200M-Groves (Bspa), 9:39.77, 110H-Gates (AHS), 15.02, 400H-Chandler (Shak), 55.78, 3000steeple-Gilboy 10:02.45, 4x100 relay-Albany (Morris, Arrington, Gates, Joseph (42.99), 4x400-Shenendehowa (Hildenbrant, Charbonneau, Jacobs, Campoli) 3:20.3 4x800-Ballston Spa (Custer, Groves, Flynt, Grandeau) 8:04.43, HJ-Mcleod (Shen), 6-4, PV-Schettino (AHS), 14-0, LJ-Morris (AHS), 21-7.5, TJ-Washington (LSI), 43-8.5) SP-Prendergas (Shen), 50-01.75, D-Prendergast (Shen), 151-08, Pentathlon: 1500-Jackson (THS), 4:37.51, 110H-Jackson (THS), 15.54, HJ-Jackson (THS), 6-2,LJ-Jackson (THS,) 21-0, SP-Wyland (Guild) 11.15M.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

La Salle wins' 'Burgh loses; Friday's baseball roundup

La Salle Institute shortstop Zach Remillard makes a throw to first base during Thursday's Section II Class AA quarterfinal game against Niskayuna. La Salle won, 6-0. (LSI photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

La Salle coach Jesse Braverman wasn’t sure if he would throw his senior ace, Dave Roseboom, in the team’s first Section II Class AA playoff game.

With the memory of last year’s first- round playoff defeat still stinging, Braverman decided to toss the left-hander and his decision paid off in the end.

Roseboom turned in an 111-pitch, 10-strikeout effort as the Cadets beat Niskayuna 6-0 at Geer Field on Thursday.

"We came out of the gate ready to play today," said Roseboom, who is headed to the University of South Carolina Upstate in the fall.

La Salle second baseman J.P. Sportman makes a throw during Thursday's game against Niskayuna.

La Salle, the Big 10's No. 1 seed, advances to face Guilderland in a Section II semifinal at Joe Bruno Stadium Saturday night at 7 p.m.

For the rest of Thursday's roundup, keep scrolling down.

For the full story on the La Salle game, check out Friday's edition of The Record to read Andrew Santillo's story.

La Salle's senior pitcher Dave Roseboom throws a pitch during Saturday's game against Niskayuna. He's won four big games in a row, including his final three regular season starts against Catholic Central, CBA and Troy.

On the North side of town, Lansingburgh hosted a Section II Class A playoff game for the second straight year. Yet again, the Knights were bounced in the first round by a lower seed.

South Glens Falls, the No. 6 seed, posted a 10-2 victory. It was a day for upsets in the Class A brackets.

No. 2 Schalmont and No. 4 Glens Falls also went down, launching No. 7 Averill Park into a semifinal matchup with South High Saturday evening in Amsterdam.

For the full story on the Knights, check out Ed Weaver's story in Friday's edition of The Record.

Here is Friday's baseball roundup, which includes a fair number of upsets.

For the sixth time in 11 years, the Shenendehowa baseball team did not make it past its first game in the Section II playoffs, falling to arch-rival Saratoga Springs. (Photo courtesy The Saratogian).

Class AA

Guilderland 7, Shaker 4: Matt Zanotta hit his 16th home run of the year and now has 50 RBI as the Dutchmen (13-9) posted the upset victory.Zanotta went 3-for-3, while Vinny Tamburello pitched a complete game and also hit a home run for Guilderland.Andrew Lasky hit a two-run home run for the Blue Bison (15-5) in the second inning.
Guilderland will take on La Salle on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Joe Bruno Stadium.
Saratoga 6, Shenendehowa 4: Chris Davis belted a solo homer and an RBI-single among his three hits and Nate Foster had two hits and two RBI to back Luke Fauler’s six shutout innings as the Blue Streaks (14-8) upset the top-seeded Plainsmen.Branden Cogswell had two hits for Shen (17-4).
Colonie 5, CBA 0: Chris Kalica pitched a complete game to send the Garnet Raiders (16-6) into the semifinals.
Kalica struck out seven and also drove in two runs.
CBA finishes the year 18-3.

Class A

Averill Park 7, Schalmont 0: Nick Cioffi pitched a two-hit shutout as the larger, seventh-seeded Indians took down the No. 2 Sabers (17-4).Tyler Listing had a double, two singles and two RBIs and Christian Thibeault added three hits for 9-11 Averill Park.
Ichabod Crane 16, Scotia-Glenville 7: The Riders, the No. 1 seed, pounded out 21 hits in a quarterfinal round victory over No. 8 Scotia.
Starting pitcher Josh Ingham hit a three-run home run and a pair of singles for Ichabod (20-1).
Burnt Hills 8, Glens Falls 3: The Spartans, the No. 5 seed, earned a date with No. 1 Ichabod Crane in Saturday’s semifinal.

Class B

Mechanicville 11, Schuylerville 3: Josh Coreno hit a grand-slam homer, Dylan Guido added a run-scoring triple and an RBI-single and Alex Grayson hurled a complete-game three-hitter with 11 strikeouts as the 5th-seeded Red Raiders (16-6) romped past the No. 4 Black Horses (15-7).
Five Schuylerville errors fueled the Raiders’ seven-run fifth inning.Granville 15, Cairo-Durham 5: The Golden Horde, the No. 3 seed, topped No. 6 Cairo in the Section II Class B quarterfinals behind Ethan Macura’s complete game, eight-strikeout performance.
Spa Catholic 8, Coxsackie-Athens 4: The No. 1 seeded Saints marched on to the Class B semifinals and will play No. 5 Mechanicville Saturday at the Plumeri Complex in Albany.

The No. 1 seed in the Class B bracket, Spa Catholic (above) will face a stiff challenge from No. 5 Mechanicville in Saturday's semifinal round. (Photo - The Saratogian).

Hudson 8, Fonda-Fultonville 7 (9 innings):
The Bluehawks topped the No. 2 seeded Braves in extra innings in a quarterfinal victory. No. 7 Hudson will face No. 3 Granville Saturday at the Plumeri Complex in Albany.

Class CC

Hoosick Falls 3, Voorheesville 1: Seth Foster, Josh Mulready and Jake Colliano all hit RBI singles to lead the Panthers (14-5) into the next round.
Foster also added a triple for Hoosick Falls, which next plays Canajoharie at Bleecker Stadium on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Ryan Duncan had a double, two single and a RBI for the Blackbirds (11-10).
Lake George 6, Mayfield 5: The Warriors advanced with the one-run victory.
Chatham 7, Berne-Knox-Westerlo 6: The Panthers, the No. 5 seed, will face No. 1 Schoharie in Saturday’s semifinal at Bleecker Stadium.
Schoharie 7, Maple Hill 1: The No. 1 seed from Schoharie knocked the defending New York State champions from Maple Hill out of the postseason in a quarterfinal round game.

Class C

Greenwich 11, Waterford 5: Neil Fryer hit a two-run home run and Ryan Beck struck out five in four innings for the Witches (16-5).
Zac Lennon had a double, triple and drove in two for the Fordians.
Greenwich plays No. 1 seed Lake George at noon at Christian Plumeri Sports Complex.
Lake George 6, Mayfield 5: The No. 1 seeded Warriors advanced to the semifinals.
Fort Plain 11, Rensselaer 1: The Rams, the No. 7 seed, saw their season end in a Class C quarterfinal game in Fort Plain.
Duanesburg 11, Warrensburg 5: The Eagles, the No. 3 seed, will play No. 2 Fort Plain in the semifinals.

Class D

Germantown 14, Sharon Springs 4: The No. 1 seeded Clippers breezed into the semifinals.
Fort Edward 7, Heatly 5: The Flying Forts defeated the Hornets, the No. 5 seed. No. 4 Fort Edward will play Germantown in Saturday’s semifinal at the Morse Complex in Queensbury.
Loudonville Christian 4, Hartford 1: The Eagles, the No. 3 seed, defeated No. 6 Hartford at Cook Park in Colonie in the Class D quarterfinals.
Fort Ann 9, Salem 6: Fort Ann, the No. 2 seed, set up a showdown with Loudonville Christian in Saturday’s Class D semifinal at the Morse Complex.

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Tigers roar into semis; Crusaders blanked by 'Toga; Friday's softball roundup

Cohoes and Catholic Central's softball teams competed in Section II quarterfinal action Thursday afternoon at Veeder Park. The Tigers will be moving on, but the Crusaders saw their fine 2010 season come to an end against Saratoga Springs.

Cohoes first baseman Courtney Laughlin made a number of scoops defensively and also drove in a big insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning in Cohoes' 2-1 victory over Granville. (All photos by Will Montgomery - The Record).

COLONIE - The Cohoes Tigers had been waiting all game for the big hit and Bailei Tetrault delivered.

Tetrault, Cohoes’ junior second baseman, ripped a scorching triple over the third base bag with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning in Wednesday’s Section II Class B quarterfinal game against Granville.

Alex Remillard followed with a single to right that scored Tetrault for the game’s first run. After a sacrifice bunt by Nicole McOmber that moved Remillard to second base, Courtney Laughlin smacked a double to right center field that sent Remillard across home plate for an insurance run.

In the top of the seventh, Cohoes’ Courtney Dayter quickly recorded two outs, but the Golden Horde did not go down quietly. Lauren Zoristoski singled to left field, moved to second on an error and took third when the throw from the outfield came in behind her.

Darian Chapman followed with an RBI single, but Dayter got Granville pitcher Chelsea Lyons to fly out to center field to end the game, a 2-1 victory for Cohoes at Veeder Park.

No. 2 seed Cohoes (15-5) advances to face No. 3 Taconic Hills (17-2) and two-time defending Patroon Conference MVP pitcher Aleshia Link in Tuesday’s Section II Class B semifinal at Veeder Park. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Cohoes center fielder Alex Remillard caught the final out in Cohoes' 2-1 victory over Granville. She also drove in the game's first run in the bottom of the sixth.

"It was a playoff game and we knew we had to step it up," Laughlin said. "Once Bailei hit that triple, we were just fired up from there. That was a big thing. Once she got that triple, that was huge."

Granville’s Lyons basically baffled the Cohoes lineup for the first five innings, scattering two hits in the first two innings and retiring nine straight in the third, fourth and fifth. The Tigers, however, adjusted to the left-hander’s pitches and Tetrault pounced on a pitch on the inside half of the plate on a 1-0 count.

"I think it just took a while to catch on to it," said Laughlin. "And she was throwing them low."

Cohoes was playing the game without its starting shortstop and left fielder, but the Tigers’ defense was impressive nonetheless.

Danielle Beauchamp, who had never played shortstop before, filled in for Shana Cooper, who injured her left ankle in Monday’s non-league game against Colonie. Cohoes head coach Frank Ryan hopes that Cooper will be able to return by Tuesday’s game against Patroon Conference regular season champion Taconic Hills.

"She (Beauchamp) plays right field and pitches," Ryan said. "She never played there before. She did a very, very good job."

Cohoes’ infield defense was perfect – the Tigers made an error in the outfield in the seventh inning that resulted in Granville’s lone run being scored – helped in large part by the scoops made at first base by Laughlin.

"Our defense is top-notch, always," Laughlin said. "We always have the defense and then the bats come alive. Mr. Ryan always says defense is going to win your games."

It’s certainly an exciting time of year for the Remillard family of Cohoes. Alex’s cousins, Zach and Will Remillard, compete for the La Salle Institute baseball team, which has also advanced to the semifinal round of the playoffs.

"It’s awesome," Alex Remillard said. "They’re doing really well."

Catholic Central senior catcher Kirstan Buchan was all smiles after Thursday's game against Saratoga Springs, looking back at a wildly successful 2010 season for the Crusaders.

COLONIE - Sometimes you get the bear. Sometimes the bear gets you.

That was the message Catholic Central High School softball coach Jack O’Grady left for his team on a piece of dry-erase board prior to Thursday’s Section II Class AA quarterfinal against No. 5 Saratoga Springs.

Blue Streaks ace Alyson Onyon wound up being unbearably tough to hit, as she struck out 14 Lady Crusaders and drove in the game’s only run in a 1-0 victory at Veeder Park.

Onyon, the Cornell University-bound senior, was perfect through three innings and did not allow a hit until the fifth inning. She finished the two-hitter – with no walks – on 86 pitches.

Catholic Central (17-4), the No. 4 seed in the tournament, sent its ace, Maddie Coneys to the circle for the second straight day. Coneys allowed far more baserunners than Onyon – Saratoga recorded four hits and five walks – but she worked out of jams every time save for the third inning.

Saratoga’s Nicole Colamaria reached on a single to lead off the inning and scored on a bases-loaded walk issued to Onyon with no out. Coneys used a pair of fielder’s choices and a strikeout to escape otherwise unharmed. But with Onyon in the circle, that was all the offense the Blue Streaks needed.

Saratoga (13-6) will face No. 9 Colonie (12-8) in the Class AA semifinals Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the Adirondack Sports Dome in Queensbury.

Still, it was a banner season for Catholic Central, which won the Big 10 Conference regular season title and the Uncle Sam Tournament.

"This is the best team I’ve played on and I’ve been playing since seventh grade," said senior catcher Kirstan Buchan. "This is the most talented infield and outfield and we all clicked perfectly and we all enjoyed our company no matter who was winning or losing."

Buchan will play at Southern Vermont College next year and she knows the CCHS pitching staff will be hard-pressed to find a replacement behind the plate.

"I’m going to miss them," Buchan said. "I’ve been with Maddie since she’s been playing."

Catholic Central junior pitcher Maddie Coneys, the 2010 Big 10 Conference MVP, throws a pitch to Saratoga Springs' Meagan Fleming during Thursday's game.

Here is Friday's Section II softball roundup.

Class AA
Columbia 7, Queensbury 0: Jena Servidone allowed just a leadoff single back up the middle in the sixth as the Blue Devils (17-4) advanced to take on Bethlehem in the semifinals on Tuesday.
Servidone also had two hits and scored two runs, while Anna Carey had three hits and drove in three runs.
Dani Bell had the lone hit for the Spartans (14-7).
Bethlehem 5, Shaker 1: Toni Edwards struck out 12, McKenzie Pezze had two hits and Meghan Burns drove in two runs for the Eagles (18-3).
Taylor Guerin hit a double for the Blue Bison.
Colonie 3, Shenendehowa 1: The Lady Plainsmen, the No. 1 seed and undefeated at 20-0 coming into the game, fell to No. 9 Colonie in a quarterfinal round shocker.
Class A
Burnt Hills 4, Lansingburgh 1: Emily Ostrom tossed a four-hitter as the sixth-seeded Spartans upended the third-seeded and defending sectional champion Knights in a quarterfinal at Veeder Park in Colonie.
Sam Woitkowski pitched a five-hitter for Lansingburgh and Kayla Cole and Meg Volz each doubled.
Averill Park 3, Glens Falls 0: The Warriors, the No. 5 seed, upset No. 4 Glens Falls in the Section II Class A quarterfinals. Averill Park will face No. 1 South Glens Falls in Tuesday’s Class A semifinal.
Ichabod Crane 3, Mohonasen 2: The Riders, the No. 2 seed, earned a date with Burnt Hills in the semifinals.
Class B
Mechanicville 12, Fonda-Fultonville 0: In a preview of a future Colonial Council rivalry, Mechanicville’s Anna Arceneaux struck out 12 in a one-hitter performance in the circle. Arceneaux, a junior, added a solo home run in the first inning in the Class B quarterfinal victory for the No. 1 seeded Red Raiders.
Aubrey Moore went 4-for-4 with four RBI and Andrea Mastropietro added a two-run home run in the sixth inning.
Schuylerville 3, Hudson Falls 0: Mikayla Wells was 4-for-4 as the Black Horses stampeded into the semifinals, where the face top-seeded Mechanicville.
Taconic Hills 4, Schalmont 1: Aleshia Link struck out 16 on the mound for the Titans (18-2).
Class D
Argyle 3, Whitehall 0: Krista Depew pitched a one-hitter, striking out 18 to pace the fourth-seeded Scots (11-5) to an opening-round victory.
Fort Ann 8, Sharon Springs 0: Fort Ann, the No. 3 seed, moved on in Class D.

There has been yet another series of changes made to the Section II softball brackets. It really has been a problem for everyone. The committee keeps calling it "Vedder Park" and I overheard complaints from nearly everyone who can't find the place because that is not its name. Anywho.

Time changes for Tuesday, June 1 semifinal games:

Adirondack Sports Complex
AA- Saratoga/Colonie 5:00 field 4
A So Glens Falls/Averill Park- 4:15 field 2
B Mechanicville/ Schuylerville 5:30 field 1
D Ft.Ann/Hartford 3:45 field 1

Veeder Park, Colonie
AA- Columbia/Bethlehem- 3:45 field 5
A- Burnt Hills/ Ichabod Crane- 3:45 field 4
B - Cohoes/ Taconic Hills 4:15 field 2
D - Germantown/Argyle 4:15 field 3

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Heat index: 22; Colonie's Rowland strikes out 22 Troy hitters in Class AA opener

Colonie and Troy needed extra innings in a Section II Class AA opening round playoff softball game Wednesday afternoon, but the Garnet Raiders prevailed, winning 2-1 in nine innings at Veeder Park.
Colonie junior pitcher Casey Rowland throws a pitch during Wednesday's Section II Class AA opening round playoff game against Troy High. Rowland struck out 22 in the Garnet Raiders' 2-1 victory. (Photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Casey Rowland had quite the day against Troy High in the opening round of the Section II Class AA playoffs. She struck out 22 Flying Horses batters in a nine-inning, 130-pitch performance, carrying the Garnet Raiders to a 2-1 victory at Veeder Park.

She did not allow an earned run - Troy's lone tally scored on a passed ball - and at one point in the game, recorded 12 straight outs via the strikeout.

The game was slightly delayed by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association's new 96-degree heat index rule, but that didn't bother Rowland at all.

"I was running off of adrenaline, honestly," Rowland said. "I wasn’t even fazed by the heat, really. I wasn’t focusing on it at all."

Casey Rowland, a hard-throwing lefthanded junior pitcher, has led No. 9 Colonie to a berth in the Section II Class AA quarterfinal round against No. 1 Shenendehowa. That game will be played Thursday at Veeder Park at 5 p.m. (Vidcap by Will Montgomery)

"I was a little bit nervous in the beginning," said Rowland, a junior. "But I got used to it and that helped me out a lot."

Troy High third baseman Lauren Cooney steps on the bag to force out Colonie's Chelsea McCann for the first out of the second inning in Wednesday's game. Troy's Gabby Daniels looks on.

Troy High managed just one hit in the game, a clean single up the middle by catcher Mackenzie Heiser in the fourth inning. The Flying Horses pushed a run across that inning - thanks to a pair of wild pitches by Rowland and a passed ball - but that was all they could muster against a Suburban Council ace.

Troy left five runners on base - all of them in scoring position - as Rowland ended seven of the nine innings with strikeouts.

"When you come to sectionals, those are the games you play," said Troy High head coach Casey Halloran. "You’re going to play the 2-1 games and the 1-0 games and you have to be ready for it. It’s the team that gets the lucky hit that gets the game."

Troy High junior pitcher Liz Belleville delivers during Wednesday's game against Colonie. She threw 133 pitches over nine innings, scattering two runs on nine hits.

Liz Belleville had really pitched well for Troy High the second half of the season and performed admirably in a pressure-packed game, but Colonie finally managed another run in the top of the ninth inning.

Freshman shortstop Stephanie Reinhardt, who grounded into an inning-ending double play in the fifth inning after Troy intentionally walked Missy Spitzer to get to her, came up big in the clutch in the ninth.

Reinhardt led off the inning with an infield single and moved to second on Maria Casile's sacrifice bunt. When a ball thrown to Colonie's Laura Loudis hit the dirt, Reinhardt hit the basepaths and took third base, narrowly beating a throw and a tag by Lauren Cooney.

Loudis then singled to left on a 2-2 count, plating Reinhardt for the go-ahead run.

Freshman shortstop Stephanie Reinhardt scored the game-winning run for Colonie in Wednesday's Section II Class AA opening round victory over Troy. (Vidcap by Will Montgomery).

Colonie will face No. 1 Shenendehowa (20-0) in Thursday's quarterfinal round.

"I think one of the most pumped people on this team is Casey because she didn’t get to play against them last time," said Reinhardt. "She is one of the most pumped people on our team, but we’re all really excited."

Troy's third baseman Lauren Cooney (left) and shortstop Gabby Daniels (right) converge on a fly ball off the bat of Colonie's Missy Spitzer in the second inning of Wednesday's Section II Class AA opening round game. Cooney caught the ball, but Spitzer was ruled out on the infield fly rule.

Troy High will graduate two seniors in June, leftfielder Maddie Weaver and centerfielder Jamie Brinkman. They will certainly be missed, but the Flying Horses will be looking strong in 2011 with an entire infield and a trio of talented pitchers coming back.

Still, many of these players have a busy summer season ahead and 2011 seems a long way away right now.

"We haven’t yet, but we will," Halloran said of thinking about 2011. "It’s kind of an emotional time. You try not to say too much except, ‘keep your head up and you played a great game."

Click on the box score for a full-size image.

There was a ton of other action on the diamonds Wednesday, so here is the roundup of the rest of the game, including Hoosic Valley's stunning upset of No. 1 Lake George in the Class CC bracket.

QUEENSBURY -- Jenna Kyer drove in two runs with a two-out single in the fourth inning to give the eighth-seeded Hoosic Valley Indians a 2-0 victory over the top-seeded Lake George Warriors at Queensbury’s Adirondack Dome.
Kyer drove in Beth Drescher and Eileen Farrell and Hoosic Valley (10-10) got a complete game effort from Morgan Anderson in the circle.
Anderson only allowed three hits to the powerful Warriors’ (17-2) attack.
Hoosic Valley plays in the semifinal round on Friday at Clifton Common at 3 p.m.
Maple Hill 7, Canajoharie 3: Maple Hill, making its first appearance in the Section II tournament in eight years, defeated No. 5 Canajoharie in the quarterfinal round.
Sierra Pizzola pitched a complete game two-hitter with four strikeouts and Heather Dugan went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
The No. 4 seeded Wildcats (10-7) will play No. 8 Hoosic Valley Friday at Clifton Common at 3 p.m.
Hoosick Falls 3, Corinth 0: The Panthers (19-2) got 15 strikeout from Rachel Quackenbush and a two-run single from Alyssa Schneider to advance.
Marissa Davendonis also went 3-for-3 for Hoosick Falls, which plays Chatham on Friday at Clifton Commons in a semifinal matchup.
Chatham 15, Voorheesville 0: The Panthers blanked the Blackbirds to advance to a Section II Class CC semifinal against Hoosick Falls Friday in Clifton Park.

Class AA Opening Round

Catholic Central 1, Guilderland 0: Kylie Benoit collected the only RBI of the game in the first inning for the No. 4 seeded Lady Crusaders (17-3).
Hannah Kutny provided a double and a single for Catholic Central, while pitcher Maddie Coneys struck out five in a three-hitter performance.
Jess Saburro stuck out 11 in the circle for the Lady Dutch (7-10).
Shaker 18, Schenectady 0: Jaime Guerin hit a three-run home run and drove in five total runs for the Blue Bison.
Erica Vallecorsa and Sammy Kawola combined for a two-hitter in the circle for Shaker, which plays today against Bethlehem.
Taylor Guerin and Emily Johnson each had two hits for the Blue Bison.
Queensbury 6, Niskayuna 3: The Spartans, the No. 6 seed, topped No. 11 Niskayuna in the opening round. No. 3 Columbia plays Queensbury today at 3:45 pm at Veeder Park in a Class AA quarterfinal.

Class C
Loudonville Christian 6, St. Johnsville 5 (9): Chelsea Wagner drove in Janay Parker and Katherine English in the bottom of the ninth inning to erase a 5-4 deficit and advance the Eagles (15-3) into the semifinals.
English and pitcher Alex Rollis each had three hits for Loudonville Christian, which plays Greenwich on Friday at 3 p.m.
Greenwich 8, Waterford 0: Sarah Heinbach drove in three runs and tossed a two-hitter in the circle for the Witches (8-11) in the upset victory.
Dani DeGregory hit three singles and Alicyn Stein added a triple for Greenwich, which plays Loudonville Christian on Friday at 3 p.m.

Our Chris Fitz Gerald covered the girls lacrosse championships at the University at Albany, so for those stories, as well as the full story on Colonie/Troy, check out Thursday's edition of The Record.

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