Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mechanicville softball tops Cohoes, 2-1

In a clash between two teams with 7-0 records in Colonial Council action, Mechanicville prevailed, posting a 2-1 softball victory over Cohoes Wednesday afternoon.

Mechanicville High School's senior shortstop, Shannon McBride, is caught stealing third base in the fourth inning of Wednesday's game at DeCrescente Fields in Mechanicville. Cohoes' Nicole McOmber applies the tag. (Photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

As good as Courtney Dayter pitched for Cohoes Wednesday afternoon, one throwing error did her in against two-time defending state champion Mechanicville.

Dayter worked out of trouble with a runner in scoring position in the first and second innings (also later in the fourth and sixth) but was tripped up in the third inning. Dayter allowed a leadoff walk to Mechanicville's M-K Malone and Alysa Russell followed with a sacrifice bunt attempt down the third base line. Dayter fielded and spun to fire to first, but the ball was high and Malone scored with Russell advancing to second base.

Kelsey Hines hit an RBI single later in the inning, which was all the offense the Red Raiders would need behind Anna Arceneaux, who struck out nine in seven strong innings of work.

"The one thing about this team that I’ve come to realize over the last few years is that there are a lot of ways that they can win," said Mechanicville head coach Don Arceneaux of his two-time defending state championship club. "They can win in many different ways. They can play ‘D,’ they can hit, they can bunt and they can run."

Courtney Dayter, Cohoes' sophomore pitcher, throws a pitch during Wednesday's game against Mechanicville. She worked out of trouble with a runner in scoring position without allowing a run in four of the six innings she pitched.

Cohoes head coach Frank Ryan was impressed by the effort put forth by Dayter, comparing her to a former Cohoes star now playing at the College of Saint Rose.

"She has a lot of guts, that girl," Ryan said. "She doesn’t back down from anybody. She reminds me so much of Courtney Galuski. She really does. She’s fearless. She wants to pitch every day against everybody."



The Cohoes hitters made good contact, but old-fashioned at-'em balls in the seventh inning helped Arceneaux close out the 2-1 victory.

"That’s part of the game," Ryan said. "They weren’t in the gaps, they weren’t between people. We hit it hard, so it wasn’t like we weren’t hitting her. What are you going to do? We did the best we can."
Mechanicville junior Anna Arceneaux deals during Wednesday's game. She struck out nine and allowed one run on four hits and one walk.

Mechanicville didn't play its sharpest game ever, but the Red Raiders still showed why they're a perennial state title contender. They made the most of a Cohoes mistake and they made just one themselves in the field. The Red Raiders could have scored more runs if not for Dayter finding ways to get out of one jam after another.

Cohoes, which returns the entire infield from its 2009 squad, hopes to play Mechanicville again in the Section II Class B playoffs, if not sooner.

"They’re our main competitor in the league and we work hard just to beat them every year," Dayter said. "We came in here both with equal records and they came out on top today, but we’ll get them again later."

The Colonial Council has shifted to a two-division format this season, meaning this was the only time these teams will meet during the regular season. Following the regular season, however, the top teams will play their counterpart from the other division in a de facto league championship game.

Dayter had the date on the tip of her tongue.

"May 21," she said. "We’re excited to play them again and next time we want to come out on top."

A rematch is not yet official. Mechanicville looks like a lock to win its division, but Cohoes will need to hold off Lansingburgh to clinch its division title.

Lansingburgh and Cohoes will play on Wednesday, May 12.

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

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

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