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Softball: Eagles facing tough road in loaded Class C bracket

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
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Duanesburg breezed through its Western Athletic Conference schedule this season.

Coach John Conway knows the Lady Eagles will have it much tougher in the postseason.

Duanesburg, runner-up to Greenwich in last year’s 2011 Class C tournament, was given the second seed behind Mechanicville for this year’s tournament, which opens today when Galway and Berlin meet in a play-in game at Tamarac.

The Class AA, A and B tournaments open Wednesday. The eight-team Class D event has one quarterfinal on Thursday and three on Friday.

Shenendehowa (Class AA), South Glens Falls (Class A), Chatham (Class B) and Loudonville Christian School (Class D) got the other top seeds.

“This team has played well, and hit well, all year,” said Conway, who in the last 14 years has coached seven sectional winners and had five other teams reach the final. “But the Class C bracket is very deep this year. You’ve got to be ready to play from the first inning of the first game.”

In addition to Duanesburg and Greenwich, 2011 “B” champ Mechanicville and runner-up Hoosick Falls are playing at the Class C level this year.

“With those teams back from playing Class B last year, this is as deep a tournament as I can remember,” said Conway.

Duanesburg went 12-0 in league play, beat Canajoharie in the WAC championship game and brings a 17-2 overall mark into the tourn­ament.

Dani Hennel, one of a handful of outstanding pitchers in the “C” brackets, has thrown two no-hitters and several other low-hit games.

Seniors Caitlin Sanders, Hannah Barr and Ally Soucy, junior Steph Rice and freshman Rachel Gamache have hit consistently well all season.

Duanesburg opens at home Wednesday against WAC rival Schoharie.

Mechanicville has won four straight Section II titles, reached the state semis last year and won state titles in 2008 and 2009. Seniors Alysa Russell and Abby Maiello are playing in their final postseason for the Lady Red Raiders, who went 16-0 in the Colonial Council and are 18-2 overall,

Once-beat Shenendehowa is looking for its first sectional title since a six-year run was ended in 2009. Defending champion Beth­lehem is the third seed, behind 2010 champ Colonie, with Columbia fourth.

Schenectady and Niskayuna both petitioned to get into the Class AA tournament, and get first-round road games Wednesday. The ninth-seeded Lady Patriots are at Sar­atoga Springs, and Niskayuna, the 10th seed, visits Big 10 tri-champ Troy.

“The big thing was for us to get in,” said first-year Niskayuna head coach Jules Paul, whose team finished 7-9 in the Suburban Council after an eight-inning loss to Ballston Spa on Saturday.

“That was tough, because if we won, we’re 8-8 and we’re in, no question,” he said. “But the girls are happy to still be playing.”

Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons and Scotia-Glenville have not had much postseason success, but both automatically qualified this year by finishing .500 or better in league play.

The Lady Knights have ridden the pitching of freshman Joelle Salisbury and the hitting of Amanda Methe and AnnaGrace Maggs to a 10-2 record and a piece of the Big 10 title. Bishop Gibbons, the No. 9 seed in Class B, plays at 11-5, 14-6 Schalmont on Wednesday.

Scotia-Glenville went 7-7 in the Foothills Council. Two of the losses were to South Glens Falls, 1-0 and 3-1. The Lady Bulldogs have won six of the last seven Class A titles.

“Even in the games we’ve lost, we’ve much more competitive this year,” said Scotia coach Eric McNulty. “Now, it’s up to them to see how far they can go.”

Scotia, the No. 6 seed, plays at third seed and 2011 runner-up Averill Park in its Class A quarterfinal.

The first two rounds will be played at school sites; with the semifinals and championship games split between Veeder Park in Colonie and Moreau Rec in South Glens Falls.

CLASS AA

First round

Wednesday

9-Schenectady (5-7, 6-12) at 8-Saratoga Springs (7-9, 10-10), 4:30; Niskayuna (7-9, 9-9) at 7-Troy (10-2, 13-6), 4:30.

Quarterfinals

Friday

Schenectady/Saratoga Springs winner at 1-Shenendehowa (15-1, 19-1), 4:30; 5-Catholic Central (10-2, 13-5) at 4-Columbia (11-5,14-6), 4:30; Niskayuna/Troy winner at 2-Colonie (14-2, 14-6), 4:30; 6-Guilderland (10-6, 12-7) at 3-Bethlehem (11-5, 13-6), 4:30.

Semifinals

May 29

at Veeder Park, Colonie, 4.

Championship

June 1

at Veeder Park, Colonie, 4:30.

CLASS A

First round

Wednesday

9-Amsterdam (3-8, 6-11) at 8-Holy Names (4-11, 4-11), 4:30.

Quarterfinals

Friday

Amsterdam/Holy Names winner at 1-South Glens Falls (14-0, 17-0), 4:30; 5-Queenbury (7-7, 10-8) at 4-Johnstown (9-5, 11-8), 4:30; 6-Scotia-Glenville (7-7, 11-8) at 3-Averill Park (6-10, 9-9), 4:30; 7-Lansingburgh (5-10, 6-12) at 2-Hudson Falls (12-2, 13-2), 4:30.

Semifinals

May 29

at Moreau Rec, 4.

Championship

May 31

at Moreau Rec, 5.

CLASS B

First round

Wednesday

9-Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons (10-2, 11-3) at 8-Schalmont (11-5, 14-6), 4:30; 11-Stillwater (5-9, 7-9) at 6-Ichabod Crane (12-4, 12-8), 5; 10-Corinth (10-4, 11-8) at 7-Tamarac (10-4, 12-4) 5.

Quarterfinals

Friday

Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons/Schalmont winner at 1-Chatham (14-0), 4:30; 5-Taconic Hills (10-4, 14-4) at 4-Greenville (11-3, 14-4), 4:30; Stillwater/Ichabod Crane winner at 3-Granville (12-2, 15-4), 4:30; Corinth/Tam­arac winner at 2-Cohoes (14-2, 16-4), 4:30.

Semifinals

May 29

Chatham bracket at Veeder Park, Col­onie, 4; Cohoes bracket at Veeder Park, Colonie 6.

Championship

June 1

at Veeder Park, Colonie, 4:30.

CLASS C

Preliminary

Today

17-Galway (6-6, 7-11) vs.16-Berlin (10-6, 12-8), at Tamarac 5.

First round

Galway/Berlin at 1-Mechanicville (16-0, 18-2), 4:30; 9-Whitehall (12-4, 12-4) at 8-Waterford-Halfmoon (14-2, 15-5) 5; 12-Fort Plain (10-2, 14-5) at 5-Greenwich (7-7, 12-8) 5; 13-Canajoharie (8-4, 10-7) at 4-Hoosick Falls (9-5, 13-7), 5; 11-Voorheesville (8-8, 10-10) at 6-Lake George (13-3, 15-5), 5; 14-Mayfield (9-3, 12-7) at 3-Hoosic Valley (9-5, 10-7), 5; 10-Maple Hill (8-6) vs. 7-Albany Academy (11-5, 11-5), at Plumeri Complex, 5; 15-Schoharie (8-4, 8-5) at 2-Duanesburg (12-0, 17-2) 5.

Quarterfinals

Friday

at higher seeds, 4:30.

Semifinals

May 29

at Veeder Park, Colonie, 6.

Championship

June 1

at Veeder Park, Colonie, 6.

CLASS D

Quarterfinals

Thursday

5-Hartford (11-5, 14-5) at 4-Germantown (11-5, 12-7), 5.

Friday

8-Sharon Springs (3-9, 6-12) at 1-Loudonville Christian School (16-0, 17-0), 4:30; 6-St. Johnsville (7-5,11-7) at 3-Fort Ann (11-4,

11-6), 5; 7-New Lebanon (7-8, 9-10) at 2-Argyle (13-3, 14-4), 1.

Semifinals

May 29

Loudonville Christian School bracket at Veeder Park, Colonie, 6; Argyle bracket at Moreau Rec, 4.

Championship

May 31

at Moreau Rec, 5.

 
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