Anne Delaney

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Butler does it again; IR's Jones unusual at short

In two Section III softball tournament games, New Hartford pitcher Haley Butler has given up one hit, struck out 24 and walked two. Not a bad line for a player who split  time at the position with teammate Stephanie Romanow during the season. 
"She's a good pitcher," New Hartford coach John Cunningham said. "She doesn't pitch every day. It's my fault I pitch her evenly with Stephanie. She pitched a lot last year and overpowered some people and got great results."
Heading into Wednesday's Class A semfinal against Tri Valley League rival Oneida, a team that beat New Hartford twice during the season, Cunningham might want to stay with Butler. Romanow played third Saturday in New Hartford's 8-0 semifinal win over Indian River.
Indian River lead off hitter Kwanishia Jones is the Warriors shortstop. She is also left-handed, a rare sight in softball and baseball because of a longstanding belief that first base is the only infield position for lefties. The rationale is a left-handed middle infielder has more trouble turning a double play, though this is less true for a shortstop than the second baseman. With more left-handed hitters in the game now, there is really no reason a lefty couldn't be a catcher. 
Jones, a point guard on the school's basketball team, was one of the best athletes on the field against New Hartford on Saturday. Jones' athletic skill ultimately won over Warriors coach Ryan Lanigan. Following conventional thinking, Lanigan was determined to put Jones in the outfield when she came up to varsity two years ago.
"She wanted to play there. It's her quickness and speed," Lanigan marveled.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sweeney quick in center for Golden Bombers

Ilion center fielder Erin Sweeney made the play of the game Tuesday in Ilion's Section III Class B-2 first round softball game against Syracuse CBA.
In the fifth inning, Sweeney made a nice catch on a sinking liner hit by Brothers shortstop Maggie Fennell. Sweeney timed the play perfectly and stuck out her glove to make the catch on the run.  
Sweeney also made a nice throw into the infield on a ball hit by CBA pitcher Grace Rooney in the sixth inning. Rooney hit the ball deep to center, and Sweeney started the 8-4-2 relay that got the freshman pitcher at the plate, keeping the game tied at 7-7.
Ilion lost the game in the top of the seventh inning on two errors. One on a throw to second by catcher Marissa Maldonado and Sweeney misplayed the ball in the outfield on the same play. There was more to her day than the seventh inning.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Basepath blunders

Exciting, yes. But Tuesday's Whitesboro-New Hartford softball game at Washington Mills Athletic Park wasn't without flaws.
On the basepaths, the Tri Valley League rivals combined for four double plays. Whitesboro, which lost 5-4 when New Hartford scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning, ran itself out of innings three times getting doubled off a base. New Hartford got caught once.
The Warriors got their lead-off batter on base in each of the first two innings, only to get nabbed off the bag.
"Honestly, it's just mental mistakes I guess," Whitesboro shortstop Lauren Hoffman said. "Maybe we were too nervous. We haven't been in a tight game for a while"
Hoffman, who had two hits and two RBIs, was smooth at short for the Warriors. Whitesboro's Lauren Dudziak made a couple of nice catches in right field. In the bottom of the fourth, with no one out and Stephanie Romanow on second, Brianna Pristera ripped a ball toward Dudziak. Dudziak reached up and the ball was there for the first out. Warriors pitcher Jaymie Rosati retired Katie Cadieux and Raechele Leone to get out of the inning still tied at 1-1.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Adirondack softball a model program

The Adirondack Central softball team might be the most dominant girls program in the area.
It's hard to argue with the numbers: nine of out 10 league titles, and 70 wins in 72 league games over a six-year span.
Since 2003, the Wildcats have won four Section III titles, advanced to a state quarterfinal game and been runners-up in two other overall sectional final games. There is an expectation of softball success at Adirondack.

Senior pitcher Ashley Zeigler, who struck out nine in a two-hitter to clinch the CSC Division I title at Herkimer on Monday, is the team's primary pitcher for the first time in her high school career. Adirondack coach Tom Maurer has always been able to rely on having one good pitcher, while often being able to groom a successor. Before Zeigler, there was Halie Tyler, Kallie Mathis, Sarah Millich and Randi Maurer, the coach's daughter.

Adirondack's success wasn't lost on first-year Herkimer coach Missy Richvalsky, whose team watched the Wildcats celebrate the division title on the Magicians' field.

"I wanted that to happen," said Richvalsky, who played basketball and softball at Elmira College. "I want my girls to see that. Adirondack has been successful in the past. I want to bring Herkimer to that point."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rogers Plays Well Through Tough Time

Westmoreland shortstop Calla Rogers had a good day on the field Wednesday against Oriskany.

Rogers had three hits and scored two runs in the Bulldogs' 10-8 key CSC Division III win. Rogers also started a game-ending double play with two Oriskany players on base to preserve the win. Oriskany's Brittany Higgins lined out to Rogers, who threw to first to double off Kile Washnis.

"I knew it when I saw her move," Westmoreland coach Cheryl Smith said of Rogers' play. "I said 'she's got it.' It was natural."

Rogers' week to this point has been anything but easy. She is a cousin of Oneida sophomore Ryan Aldasch, who died in a car accident last Friday. Rogers attended a memorial service for Aldasch earlier in the day.

"She's had a lot on her mind and she wanted to do well for him," Smith said. "She really used that to get going."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Oneida holds momentum in win at New Hartford.

The Oneida girls softball team got a rush of momentum with a first-inning lead on Tuesday.
The Indians expended a lot of energy trying to hold the lead in a 5-3 win over New Hartford.

The Tri Valley League game couldn't have started any better for the Indians, many of whom were emotionally drained after the death of a classmate on Friday.
Beth Kann hit a two-run home run in the top of the first at Washington Mills Athletic Park. The senior pitcher then struck out the side in the bottom of the first and the Indians were rolling.

"Against a good team you've got to get ahead early," Kann said.

Things only got better. Kara Peck's fourth-inning triple scored another run, and the Indians shortstop came in on the same play after an error on the throw to the infield.

New Hartford rallied with two runs in the bottom of the fifth on Oneida errors. The Indians' energy started leaking, and they came out of the fifth lucky to be still up three runs. New Hartford scored its third run on an error in the seventh and Tessa Trainor prolonged the game with a gritty two-out at-bat. The Spartans second baseman, down 1-2 in the count, fouled off six-straight pitches before finally reaching base on an error.

"The whole team emotionally was a little drained," Kann said of the team's games Monday (vs. Camden) and Tuesday. "To get these wins is great for our program."

While not making excuses for the errors, Kann and Oneida coach Mike Curro said the infield surface at Washington Mills might have had something to do with the team's miscues. The dirt causes the ball to take different hops than it does at Oneida High School where the Indians play and it takes some time to adjust. New Hartford shortstop Dominique Carcone was nearly eaten up by Kristin Kinney grounder in the fifth inning. The ball bounced up on Carcone, but she stayed with it nicely and made a throw that just missed getting the Oneida catcher.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

We Are Family

Being a 'family' must be the theme of Upstate New York lacrosse teams this spring.
Members of the Herkimer County Community College men's team, and Generals coach Rich Dommer, used the word 'family' several times after two games this season. The unifying force of a 'family' unit was the explanation offered for the Generals' win over Monroe Community College in a Region III semifinal Saturday.
"We just played together as a family," said HCCC sophomore defender Kris Docherty. "You gotta believe in yourself and as a team."
On Tuesday in a girls game at New Hartford, Fulton broke each huddle with the chant 'family' before going back on the field.
Maybe other teams should follow the Red Raiders and Generals. HCCC lost to Onondaga Community College on Sunday in the Region III final for the fourth-straight year. The Generals, though, received an at-large bid to the NJCAA tournament this weekend and their title hopes are still alive. Fulton defeated New Hartford, 14-2 at Myles Elementary School to improve to 8-3.

Monday, May 5, 2008

RFA-Proctor softball has playoff quality

The RFA and Thomas R. Proctor softball game at Proctor on Monday was a good one. There was playoff quality to the Central New York Counties League regular-season match up. The game was scoreless through four innings and each team committed one error.

Defense ruled the day and RFA shortstop Lydnsey Brognano made the play of the game in the bottom of the seventh. With RFA leading 2-1, Brognano completed a game-ending double play. The shortstop went way to her left toward second base to catch a pop-up by Caitlin Fox and then threw home to RFA catcher Danielle Phillips to get Proctor's Ellie Reilly trying to score from third.

Proctor coach Dave Scarlino, in the coaching box at third, sent Reilly but wasn't happy with her effort.

"The fielder was going that way," Scarlino said pointing toward the right side. "She jogged in."

RFA center fielder Julianna Van Meter threw out Proctor's Jenae Morrissey at the plate in the sixth inning to keep it a 2-0 game. Morrissey, the Proctor catcher, was aggressive on the bases trying to score from second on a Jennifer True single and plowed into Phillips, who was on the ground for a while but stayed in the game.

"We work on it a lot," RFA coach Jerry Tabolt said of the outfield assists. "Everyone was in the right position where they needed to be."

Proctor center fielder Kaitlyn Brown made a nice catch on a hard-hit fly ball by Brenna Ricci to end the top of the seventh. RFA right fielder Emma Duchesneau ended the third inning with a long run and falling catch in foul territory on a pop out by Brown.