Big innings in which a team strings together a number of hits and runs are rare in softball. The Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity softball team hasn’t seen many in recent years. But on Thursday afternoon they had a chance to show their offensive might, and even had an inside-the-park home run before all was said and done. The Lady Rams put together a six run outburst in the second inning against the Broadalbin-Perth Lady Patriots and turned that into a 11-4 Foothills Council win at Shuttleworth Park.
“It was good to see everyone getting on base today and scoring,” Amsterdam coach Brendan Cetnar said. “That was fantastic.”
The Lady Rams had already scored the first run of the game getting a leadoff double from sophomore Megan Lamont, who came around to score on an RBI single by senior Morgan Durinick. Lamont got things started in the second inning as well with a single opening the floodgates for a group of base runners that included Emma Patrei, Michaela Kelly, Nicole Derose, Gianna Quatrini, and Madison Lanza, all of whom scored to boost the AHS lead to 7-0 after only two innings. Quatrini, Lanza, Durinick and Karly Power all came through with hits to keep the runners moving.
The Lady Rams kept on scoring in the third with both Lamont and Lanza crossing the plate to give Amsterdam starting pitcher Michaela Rust a 9-0 lead to work with. Rust and the Lady Rams defense had kept the Lady Patriots offense in check through the early stretch except for in the top of the fourth.
Broadalbin-Perth cut the AHS lead in half with runs by Kara Terwilliger, Danielle Winney, Adrienne Morreale, and Murray. Winney’s single was the only hit of the inning, the other three runs had been walks. Coach Cetnar called a timeout to settle things down.
“Things got a little shaky,” Coach Cetnar said of the fourth inning,” We threw in four new players and they were nervous. “We talked about it and they settled down and made good plays after that.”
Rust and the AHS defense were facing the top of the BPHS batting order when play resumed, and the defense came through. Rust induced a ground ball off the bat of Ali Visco and struck out the next batter to prevent any further damage. AHS led 9-4 and Cetnar talked to his team once more letting them know that they had three innings left and couldn’t let up on the Lady Patriots. Amsterdam senior Martina Hughes led by example with her next at bat.
Hughes stepped to the plate in the fifth inning and put a charge into a fastball from BPHS hurler Andasia Holz. From the moment of contact the ball was destined to find the center field fence at Shuttleworth Park, but Hughes had to hustle for this run, as it wouldn’t clear the fence. Hughes knew she had a hit but didn’t follow the path of the ball, instead she did what all good base runners are taught to do, listen to the coach and look for a sign.
“I was just listening to my coach and picked up the signal,” said Hughes, who never broke stride and scored without a throw to the plate. “I’m definitely in my mindset right now and it was only the third at bat. That was good for me”
“She hit it hard and just kept running,” added Coach Cetnar on the hit. “She wanted it and got there.”
Meanwhile, AHS hurler Micheala Rust allowed only two BPHS runners after the fourth. The second year varsity pitcher kept the Lady Patriots off balance with a good selection of pitches. Rust scattered six hits and struck out four in earning the win.
“She mixed up speeds and was hitting her spots,” Coach Cetnar said of Rusts’ effort. She had a lot working for her.”
The Amsterdam defense was effective in support of their pitcher and came up with some outstanding plays to deny the Lady Patriots any scoring chances after the fourth. AHS second baseman Madison Lanza made a diving catch on the a pop up that almost escaped the infield in the fifth. Lady Rams right fielder Katarina Keyser ran in to make a near shoestring catch on a sinking liner in the sixth.
“Every player on this team, from the moment we started practice, has been working hard on our defense,” Amsterdam senior Morgan Durincik said. “From day one we’ve been working our tails off.”
Amsterdam added one more run in the home half of the sixth when Nicole Derose almost made it two inside the park home runs in one game. Derose settled for a triple and scored on an RBI grounder by Kaylee Cappuccio to bring about the final score.
“As a team we support each other and pick each other up,” said a confident Durinick. “We all love to play the game, and it shows. We got the win today.”
Megan Lamont smacked a double and a single for Amsterdam. Madison Lanza had a pair of singles, Nicole Derose belted a triple and a single, and Katarina Keyser added a single for the Lady Rams.
Danielle Winney added a pair of singles for BPHS. Adrienne Weaver, Andasia Holz, Kayla Weaver, and Murray added singles for the Lady Patriots.
The Lady Rams will need to maintain that level of togetherness and enthusiasm heading into next week when they play a couple of early afternoon contests against some of the Foothills Councils top programs. Amsterdam (2- 1 Foothills, 3- 3 overall), travels to Hudson Falls on Monday for a game with the Lady Tigers. Amsterdam returns to Shuttleworth Park on Wednesday for a key division match up with Scotia- Glenville. First pitch for both games is scheduled for 12:30pm.
The Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity and junior varsity team will both be participating in the Ronald Papierniak Memorial Scholarship Tournament held at Fonda- Fultonville High School on Saturday, April 22. The Lady Rams JV team is the defending champs in the junior varsity division. The Lady Rams varsity were the runner up for varsity last year. The host Lady Braves took the 2016 title 4-3 over the Lady Rams. Amsterdam’s varsity is scheduled to face Foothills Council rival Johnstown in the first game scheduled to begin at 10am. The Lady Rams posted a 9-5 win over the Lady Bills last week at Shutlleworth Park for their first 2017 Foothills Council win.