Friday, June 4, 2010

Hoosick Falls and Mechanicville heading back to regionals

It wasn't a perfect effort, but it was the next best thing. Hoosick Falls' Rachel Quackenbush held Duanesburg to one hit through nine innings, allowing Katie Kovage to drive in the game-winning run in a 1-0 victory in the Section II Class CC/C playoff game at Clifton Common.

Hoosick Falls' sophomore ace Rachel Quackenbush readies to throw a pitch to a Duanesburg batter in Friday's Section II Class CC/C playoff game. (All photos by J.S. Carras - The Record - unless specified.)

Rachel Quackenbush had been absolutely perfect in Wednesday's Class CC title game against No. 8 Hoosic Valley. She faced 21 batters and got each and every one of them out in the 8-0 victory.

Friday, she faced Class C champ Duanesburg and was as near perfect as she could be.

Duanesburg's Nicole Dexter led off the third inning with a double to left field. She was bunted to third in the next at-bat, but Quackenbush rallied with a strikeout and a soft grounder back to the circle to escape unharmed. In fact, she retired 17 batters in a row after Dexter's double.

Hoosick Falls junior first baseman (and second pitcher) Katie Kovage had a dream come true as she drove in the game's winning run in the top of the ninth inning. (Vidcap by Will Montgomery).

Katie Kovage drove in Jenna Priore in the top of the ninth on a single that plunked into left field. It was the first run of the game as two pitchers dueled it out.

Shelby Jones had tried to bunt Priore to second after her leadoff single, but fouled off two pitches in a row. A wild pitch allowed Priore to take second and move into scoring position.

Hoosick Falls' RBI machines, Kovage and Quackenbush, were the next two hitters in the lineup.

"When Shelby was up, I was taking a walk down the sideline," said Kovage. "I didn’t even know what to do with myself. But I just relaxed because I’ve been playing this game since I was seven.

"It just came to me," she continued. "I just got up there, took a look around at the atmosphere, took a breath and swung just like I normally do."

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

Hoosick Falls head coach Charlie Weeden and left fielder Marissa Davendonis do their celebratory postgame belly-bump following the 1-0 victory over Duanesburg. (Vidcap by Will Montgomery).

For the video of this belly-bump, with some voiceover commentary from YNN's Joe Calderone, watch the video posted below in this post.

Both pitchers were absolutely fantastic in this game. Quackenbush pitched nine innings with 15 strikeouts on a mere 92 pitches, a economical wonder.

Duanesburg's Dani Hennel, also just a sophomore, worked nine innings on 97 pitches, striking out 12 and allowing just the one run on six hits.

Duanesburg has played in the Section II Class CC/C playoff game six years in a row, but has defeated the slightly larger school just once during that span.

Hoosick Falls will be moving to Class B next season, so Quackenbush and Hennel won't catch each other in the playoffs next year.

Rachel Quackenbush, Hoosick Falls' sophomore pitcher, throws one to a Duanesburg hitter during Friday's game.

Hoosick Falls (22-2), two-time defending Section II Class CC champions, play Wednesday in the North Country in a regional final. The Panthers will play of winner of Monday’s regional semifinal between the Section VII and X champions.

For the state's Class C bracket, click here.

Hoosick Falls second baseman Alysa Schneider throws to first baseman Katie Kovage to record an out in the sixth inning of Friday's game. Since Quackenbush recorded 15 strikeouts, it was one of the few defensive chances in the game for the Panthers.

For the team’s veterans – Kovage, Priore, Quackenbush, Mel Mentiply, Marissa Davendonis and Karley Morin – 2010 will mark a return berth in the regional round and what they hope will be second straight trip to the New York State Final Four.

For the rookies, Friday’s game was the highlight of their careers…so far.

"It’s the greatest feeling I’ve ever felt in my life," Shelby Jones said. "I can’t wait to go as far as we possibly can. I’m just hoping we bring it all home."

Mechanicville's Anna Arceneaux tossed a one-hitter in a 5-0 victory over Taconic Hills in Friday's Section II Class B title game. It was Mechanicville's eight Section II title in the past 10 years.

"I felt more comfortable today," Anna Arceneaux said. "The other day I felt a little shaky (a 2-0 win over Schuylerville). I buckled down and did what I had to do."

Stan Hudy from The Saratogian and the Community News covered the game for us, so be sure to check out his story in The Record on Saturday.

Alysa Russell (left) and Alison Ford share a laugh during Friday's Section II Class B championship game against Taconic Hills.

Anna Arceneaux drove in Alysa Russell and Alison Ford early in the game to give herself a 2-0 lead.

The Red Raiders tacked on three more runs in the fifth after Arceneaux led off with a single to right. Kelsey Hines reached on a fielding error by the second baseman and Shannon McBride plated both with her double, reaching third on the throw. She came in to score on Andrera Mastropeitro’s groundout for the unbeatable 5-0 lead, which was surprising to many.

"All day long you’re on pins and needles expecting a 1-0 game," Mechanicville head coach Don Arceneaux said.

Mechanicville's Abby Maiello slides into second base as Taconic Hills' Michelle Link tries to apply the tag.

Two-time defending New York State champions, Mechanicville will play Monday at Section X champion Potsdam. Should they win that, they'll play again Wednesday in Plattsburgh in a regional final. The regional final winner advances to the New York State Final Four in Waterloo.

For the state's Class B bracket, click here.

And the rest of Friday's roundup:

CLIFTON PARK - The clock failed to strike midnight on No. 9 Colonie in the Section II Class AA softball finale Friday afternoon at Clifton Common.
The Garnet Raiders, an underdog at each step of the 2010 playoffs, defeated No. 2 Bethlehem in the Class AA title game, 4-3.
Colonie defeated No. 8 Troy in the opening round before knocking off No. 1 Shenendehowa in the quarterfinals. The Garnet Raiders then topped No. 5 Saratoga Springs in the semifinals, 5-2.
Bethlehem, which made a late rally that fell just short, was playing in the final for the first time in 10 years. The Eagles finished the season with a 19-4 record.
Class A
South Glens Falls 3, Ichabod Crane 2 (10 innings): Making its 14th straight appearance in the Section II Class A title game, South Glens Falls won it for the 10th time during that span, needing extra innings to top No. 2 seed Ichabod Crane.
Class D
Germantown 8, Hartford 2: Taylor Race, Carissa Phillips and Nicole Van Alstyne drove in two runs apiece for the Clippers in a title game victory over No. 2 seeded Hartford.
No. 1 Germantown won its second straight Section II Class D title.

Greenwich 7, Canajoharie 2: The Witches advanced to the NYS regional round, where they will play Norwood-Norfolk Monday at 4 p.m. at Clarkson University.

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