Friday, May 21, 2010

Mechanicville wins second straight Colonial Council title

Mechanicville's softball team won a second straight Colonial Council title the old-fashioned way Friday afternoon. Strong defense and pitching held up an offensive effort that feasted on Cohoes mistakes in the 5-2 victory for the Red Raiders.

Mechanicville's sophomore third baseman Alysa Russell fires a throw toward first base during Friday's Colonial Council championship game at Cohoes. Russell singled and scored to spark the Raiders' attack in the first inning. (Photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Mechanicville head coach Don Arceneaux urged his players to get a quick start and they took that message to heart.

Alysa Russell led off the game with a single to left field and Abby Maiello and Anna Arceneaux followed with bunts. An error and a wild pitch later, the Red Raiders were ahead by two runs and never looked back, posting a 5-2 victory at Cohoes High School.

It was the Red Raiders' second straight Colonial Council title and the first in the league's new two-division format.

The No. 1 ranked Class B team in the state hosts a scrimmage tournament with some of the best teams from around Section II Saturday afternoon.

Mechanicville pitcher Anna Arceneaux twists through her windup during Friday's game against Cohoes. She allowed nine hits but struck out eight in the win.

Cohoes' hitters made it tough on Arceneaux. The Tigers smashed nine hits, but left eight men, or, well, girls, on base. Arceneaux ended the first, second and third innings with a strikeout to work out of a jam each time. (For a K-by-K sequence, watch the video below).

She also consistently found the strike zone, getting the aggressive Cohoes hitters to make outs on the first pitch for the first and second outs of the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.

Cohoes head coach Frank Ryan didn't mind the lack of patience at all, because he's always preaching aggressive behavior in the box, especially against a pitcher of Arceneaux's caliber.

"That’s our philosophy," Ryan said. "She (Arceneaux) doesn’t give you anything good to hit. We work on swinging at things they like."

Cohoes shortstop Shana Cooper makes a throw to first base during Friday's game against Mechanicville.

Cohoes' Courtney Gumprecht had a great day at the plate. She drove in a run on a fourth inning single, bringing the Tigers within one at 2-1.

She crushed a ball to left field in the sixth, scampering around the bases for a home run.

Gumprecht hit in the No. 7 spot in the order, but look for her position to rise in the postseason as Ryan continues to tweak the lineup to find the best balance of players that can get on base and those that can drive them in.


Abby Maiello makes a throw to first for the Red Raiders. Maiello, a first team All-Area center fielder for The Record in 2009, has shifted to second base following the broken bone suffered by regular first baseman Joelle DiDomenico.

The players on both sides certainly took this game very seriously. Many of the Cohoes players were disconsolate after the game, while the Mechanicville players jumped for joy after Shannon McBride caught a popup for the final out of the game.

Following the game, former Cohoes pitcher Courtney Galuski, who now plays at the College of Saint Rose, took the time to talk with current Cohoes pitcher Courtney Dayter and Frank Ryan in the pitching circle.

Dayter, a sophomore, and Arceneaux, a junior, proved to be the two best pitchers in the Colonial this season and they'll both be back next year.

Mechanicville shortstop Shannon McBride (above) and pitcher Anna Arceneaux (below) were all smiles after winning a second straight Colonial Council championship. (vidcaps by Will Montgomery).
Was this a Section II Class B championship game preview? Sound off in the comments or drop by our sectional preview chat Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m.

Taconic Hills will join these two in the top three seeds - but it looks like a 16-team field in Class B this year, which means the winner will have to survive four elimination rounds to hoist the Section II trophy.

Do you think Cohoes, which has lost twice to Mechanicville, could beat the Raiders on any given day? Or is Mechanicville just unbeatable in the section this year?

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

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think both teams are great and everyone should stop saying that Mechanicville is unbeatable, because they aren't. Cohoes just made errors, they had more hits and definitely are capable of beating Mechanicville.

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