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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