Freshman pitcher Hunter Levesque scattered four hits and got plenty of support as Troy plated seven runs in the sixth inning to seal a 16-0 win over the Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity softball team Wednesday afternoon at Shuttleworth Park.
“Hunter is amazing,” Troy head coach George Rafferty said of his hurler who began playing varsity softball as a seventh grader. “She has savvy, poise and control, and she is a heck of a hitter. Her talent is amazing at this age.”
Levesque helped her own cause leading off the game with a single and coming around to score when Destiny Wierzbicki’s sacrifice bunt attempt was misplayed for a two base error. The Lady Flying Horses plated two more in the third on a two run triple by Victoria Hallett for a 3-0 lead. That turned out to be more than enough run support for Levesque who settled in and struck out four over the first three frames allowing only an infield single to Stephanie DeLorenzo in the third.
“Last year she had maybe 14 strikeouts against us,” AHS head coach Brendan Cetnar said. “Today we were getting better contact but we couldn’t string enough hits together. When we did they made some great plays in the field.”
One of those plays came in the fourth inning when the Lady Rams had their best scoring chance. Ashley Pryzblowicz reached on an infield error and Tessa Filiberto singled with one out in the bottom of the fourth with Troy still up 3-0. Levesque got Allie Krohn on strikes bringing Amber Iannotti to the plate. Iannotti drilled Levesque’s third pitch of the at bat to deep center field. AHS looked to plate two, but Wierzbicki never broke stride and ran the ball down making the catch near the fence. Troy kept its lead and would deny AHS more scoring chances.
“The defense is phenomenal,” coach Rafferty said. “We’re constantly getting better. We’re blessed to have this team.”
Amsterdam did it’s best to match Troy trailing 4-0 through five innings. AHS hurler MichaelaPuglisi had allowed only five hits while striking out seven during that time. Troy would put the game out of reach in the sixth with a seven run barrage that included two home runs.
Ally Discanio’s double with one out got things started. Levesque was aboard with her third hit of the game followed by Wierzbicki’s bunt single scoring Dicanio. Kaitlin DelSignor’s sacrifice fly to center field plated Levesque bringing Alina Germinerio to the plate.
“Alina has incredible power,” said coach Rafferty. The third year varsity shortstop showed it launching a two run blast to left-center field for a 7-0 Troy lead. Three batters later Gloria Shuffelt connected for the second two run homer of the inning. Troy led 11-0.
“Shuffelt is another freshman with incredible power,” said Rafferty.. “We bring them up to varsity when they are young, and we will have everyone back next year.”
Amsterdam would threaten only once more in the sixth with Filiberto earning a walk and Allie Krohn on base with a single which was the Lady Rams last hit of the game. Levesque stayed in control finishing the inning with a strikeout and ended up with nine for the game. Puglisi exited after the sixth and Troy put up five more runs in the seventh off reliever Natalie Vogel. The Lady Flying Horses connected for 14 hits total, most coming after the fifth inning..
Troy stayed unbeaten in the Big 10 having already wrapped up the league title. Amsterdam controls its own destiny and needs to win three of its four remaining Big 10 games to earn a bid to sectionals. The Lady Rams will be at Notre Dame Bishop Gibbons on Thursday and will face rival Catholic Central at home next Monday at Shuttleworth Park.
(Photos by Scott Mulford)