A win on Tuesday would have been just the thing the Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity softball team needed to give them a winning record, lock up a bid for sectionals, and provide a little more reason for their six seniors to smile on senior night. The result, a 4-2 loss to Gloversville at Shuttleworth Park was not what they were expecting.
“We were hoping for a better result,” Amsterdam coach Brendan Cetnar said. “It would have been nice to win on senior night.”
Amsterdam came into Tuesday’s game with the Lady Huskies having won five of its last six games including a tournament win in Fonda. The Lady Rams win total in the Foothills Council stood at six after a 13-9 comeback victory over Johnstown on Monday, and they needed just one more win in the league to clinch a spot in the Section 2 playoffs. Gloversville sent Jen Vickery to the pitchers circle to oppose an AHS offense that in recent weeks has provided plenty of fireworks. Vickery kept the Lady Rams bats as cold as the starting temperature at game time over the first two innings allowing Gloversville a chance to score first.
The top of the third inning looked harmless when Gloversville’s Rebecca Brown-Weinstock hit a slow grounder back to Lady Rams pitcher Emma Patrei. But, Patrei misplayed the ball for an error putting Brown- eisnstock aboard. Gabby Langley followed with a walk and one out later, Vickery stepped to the plate.
Vickey sent Patrei’s fourth pitch rocketing into left field. AHS outfielder Katarina Keyser looked to have a play on the ball, but it soared over her head and bounced off the fence. Brown-Weinstock and Langley both scored and Vickery stood at third after an infield error. A passed ball allowed Vickery to score giving Gloversville a 3-0 lead.
“We gave up a few runs that we should not have,” Coach Cetnar said. “Over the last two weeks our offense has picked up the errors. We just didn’t hit today. We came out flat.”
Gloversville added a fourth unearned run in the top of the fifth when Brown-Weinstock reached on an infield error, moved to second on a Langley single, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a sacrifice fly to center field off the bat of Kendra Lavery. Meanwhile, the Amsterdam offense had managed only a pair of singles by Ericha Engle and Gianna Quatrini over the first five innings. The Lady Rams still had some fight left in them and showed it in the bottom of the sixth.
Patrei and senior captain Morgan Durinick crushed back to back doubles with Patrei scoring the first AHS run cutting into the Gloversville lead. Nicole Derose singled to drive in Durinick with the second run but Vickery forced Derose on a fielders choice grounder for the second out of the frame, and struck out the last batter holding the lead at 4-2. Amsterdam sent eighth grader Sydey Szczepanik to the circle for the top of the seventh inning.
The first batter Szczepanik faced was Vickery, who had accounted for three of the four Lady Huskies runs. Szczepanik consistently worked ahead in the pitch count and set down Vickery swinging on five pitches. It was a good start for the young hurler in only her second varsity appearance.
“She threw well,” Coach Cetnar said. “We were hoping for a lead so she could come in and close it out.”
Szczepanik retired Lavery on a grounder back to the circle before allowing a single to Katlyn Cwiakala, but it was the only hit she would allow as Cwiakala was left strander when Szczepanik was retired on strikes for the last out of the Gloversville half of the inning. However, Vickery stayed sharp and set down three AHS batters in order in the bottom of the seventh giving Gloversville its third win of the season, and denying Amsterdam a chance to wrap up a sectional bid for the first time in four years.
“We can come back tomorrow,” said Coach Cetnar, whose Lady Rams still have two league games remaining this season, with the Foothills Council South Division’s top team, Scotia-Glenville on tomorrow.
“Win either of those two games and we’re in automatically.” Coach Cetnar said.
The last time Amsterdam faced the Lady Tartans, hurler Kelly Mayette fanned 18 Lady Rams batters leading Scotia-Glenville to a 4-0 no- hitter at Shuttleworth Park. Amsterdam, currently in second place in the Foothills South, will likely play Schuyerville in Thursday’s crossover game at Shuttleworth. The Lady Black Horses defeated Amsterdam 3-1 last week in Schuylerville.
Amsterdam posted five hits to Gloversville’s three, but the Lady Huskies had 13 base runners to the Lady Rams eight. Vickery struck out eight and walked none in the complete game win. Amsterdam put two runners on base with two out in the bottom of the first after a pair of infield errors, but neither runner scored. Patrei struck out eight and walked five over six innings for AHS, but the four Lady Rams errors all led to runs.
Prior to the game the Lady Rams honored their six senior and their parents. Morgan Durinick, Gianna Quatrini, Martina Hughes, Katarina Keyser, Ericha Engle and Rena Peconie were introduced as members of the class of 2017. Most of them have spent at least two years on the varsity team, and several years in the Amsterdam softball program.
“They’re a fantastic group of hard working seniors,” Coach Cetnar said. “They have provided that leadership for this team and have worked hard all season. If we don’t win one of theses last two games, I will write a letter and petition to get us into sectionals. It’s because of all they have done for this team.”
The first pitch for Amsterdam’s remaining two games is scheduled for 4:30pm.