Monday, May 29, 2017

Hail to the victors: Softball sectional champions crowned

Perhaps the most daunting aspect of Section II's softball championship games on Saturday was that all 5 games, contested at 2 multi-field venues in Malta and Glens Falls, were played concurrently. Why the tournament committee insisted on a 5 pm (ET) first pitch on a Saturday afternoon at all is beyond me.

Anyway, four of the five games, including both games in Glens Falls, ended in shutouts, which meant pitching & defense ruled the day.

At Luther Forest Complex in Malta, Averill Park reclaimed the Class A title, with arch-rival Troy High now in Class AA (and eliminated in the first round of that tournament), by beating another Suburban Council foe, Burnt Hills, 2-0. Ballston Spa's bid to repeat as AA champs went by the wayside, as the Lady Scotties fell to Shaker, 5-2. Meanwhile, it was an all-Colonial Council final in Class B, with Cohoes claiming the title in a 1-0 verdict over league rival Ichabod Crane.

Over at Moreau Recreational Park in Glens Falls, Greenville copped the Class C crown, beating Lake George by the same 1-0 score, and Fort Ann won the Class D title, taking down Salem, 6-0.

Next for the champs will be the state tournaments, which get underway later this week.
One week after winning semi-final games at the same venue, Niskayuna & Shenendehowa returned to Joe Bruno Stadium Saturday afternoon to decide the Class AA baseball title. The Plainsmen had hoped to repeat, and win their 3rd title in 4 years under Greg Christodulu. Didn't happen. Niskayuna overcame the 1st inning ejection of Tyler Senecal, and beat Shen, 4-0.

Senecal was given the heave-ho after he'd failed to score on a base hit, but he forgot that you can't crash into the catcher anymore, as rule changes with regard to player safety are in effect from the big leagues all the way down to Little League. Luckily for Senecal, his teammates picked up the slack, though I'm not sure if there will be any disciplinary action taken as a result of his early dismissal from the game. State title play starts at the end of the week for the Silver Warriors as well as the other sectional baseball champs.
All that's left, then, are the lacrosse sectional championships, to be decided Tuesday & Wednesday. Unlike their brethren on the diamonds, the laxmen can play in the rain, just like in soccer & football.

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