Win over Canajoharie highlights busy weekend for AHS softball team

The Amsterdam High School varsity softball team rallied for a 10-8 victory over Canajoharie in the opening round of the Ron Paperniak Memorial Scholarship Tournament in Fonda on Saturday to highlight a busy weekend that saw the Lady Rams play three games in two days.

Van Arnum tosses two hitter, Schuylerville defeats AHS 7-0

The Amsterdam Lady Rams three game weekend did not get off to a good start on Friday when they hosted the Schuylerville Lady Black Horses at Shuttleworth Park.  Schuylerville junior pitcher Hunter Van Arnum alllowed only two hits in a complete game, 7-0 shutout performance.

“She’s our number three pitcher,” Schuylerville Coach Kelly McKinley said. “All of our pitchers are very strong. We have a great pitching coach who spends a lot of time working with them.”

Van Arnum took a no hitter into the sixth inning before surrendering back to back hits to Amsterdam’s Megan Lamont and Gianna Quatrini. The one out double by Lamont was the only extra base hit for the Lady Rams, and with runners on the corners, the Lady Rams posed their only real scoring threat. However, Van Arnum kept the shutout intact getting a pop up to third off the bat of Micheala Kelly and a grounder from Emma Patrei to force Quatrini at second base. Schuylerville second baseman Katelyn Weed had to have a quick glove to snare Patrei’s one hopper to end the scoring chance.

“A quick second baseman makes that play,” Amsterdam Coach Brendan Cetnar said. “Sometimes the ball just doesn’t fall your way.”

The Schuylerville offense had things fall their way beginning in the second inning. An error put Emily Vallee on base for Kayla Burdick, whose sacrifice bunt moved her all the way to third. Cassidy Hulka’s ground out plated Vallee, but a walk to Grace Hoblock gave Weed a chance to smash a double to left field scoring Hoblock, and giving the Lady Black Horses a 2-0 lead. The score remained that way until the fourth when Schuylerville threatened to score again.

With two out in the top of the fourth, a walk to Weed and a single by Lauren Kelleher gave the Lady Black Horses another scoring chance. Neither Kelleher or Weed were on base for long when Sara Baker stepped to the plate. The Schuylerville third baseman launched a home run over the fence in left-center to boost the lead to 6-0.

“She’s quite an athlete,” Coach McKinley said of Baker. “She played third base today, but she can play just about anywhere in the field. We had only two kids playing their primary positions. Sara’s a phenomenal kid.”

“With two outs they strung together three good at bats,” Coach Cetnar said. “A walk, a single, and a hom run. There’s not much you can do about that.”

Schuylerville put together a couple more good at bats in the top of the seventh with a leadoff double by Caitlyn Kelleher in front of Van Arnum, who helped her own cause with an RBI two bagger of her own. Van Arnum then polished off the win with a fly out and a pair of strikeouts to end the game. The Lady Black Horses hurler finished with a two hit shutout, striking out ten and allowing only five Lady Rams base runners for the game.

“She did a great job,” Coach McKinley said. “Our catcher (Caitlyn Kelleher) also does a good job working with the pitchers and calling pitches.”

The win improved Schuylerville’s record to 7-2. Amsterdam hung tough with one of the better teams in the Foothills Council and did a better job at the plate over the last three innings putting together some good at bats.

“Once we got our timing down we had better at bats,” Coach Cetnar said. “We thought their pitcher was tipping her changeup so we started playing for the fastball. We kept a good, tight game with a very good team.”

Despite the loss, the Lady Rams clubhouse was more up beat and that positive attitude carried over to Saturday morning’s first game against Canajoharie at the Ron Paperniak Memorial Softball Tournament at Fonda-Fultonville High School.

Lamont, Patrei star in Lady Rams comeback win over Canajoharie

The Lady Rams were already down four runs when Emma Patrei stepped into the pitchers circle with only one out in the first inning. Canajoharie’s Madison Koebl doubled and hustled home on a scorching blast from Alexa Lathers, whose home run produced the Lady Cougar’s first two runs. Mackenzie Bowerman followed Lathers’ shot with a single and later scored on a wild pitch. After a walk to Jenna Sheppard, designated hitter Katie Howse made it 4-0 with an RBI single. Another walk to Madyson Casler moved Howse into scoring position and brought Patrei into the game as pitcher. AHS left fielder Michaela Kelly battled the late morning sunlight to catch a fly ball from Brianna Dimascio, and Patrei set down Brittini Nestle to end the outbreak. Amsterdam wasted no time in responding with a rally of their own.

Megan Lamont earned a leadoff walk in the bottom half of the first inning and quickly stole second and then third. One out later, Michaela Kelly delivered Lamont with the Lady Rams first run on the first of two key hits by the AHS left fielder. Back to back singles by Patrei and Michaela Rust cut the Canajoharie lead to 4-2 after only one inning of play. It turned out to be only the beginning of the scoring in the longest game of the day.

Patrei set down the Lady Cougars in order in the top of the second and recorder her second strikeout of the game. The Amsterdam offense meanwhile wasn’t struggling against Canajoharie pitcher Mackenzie Bowerman. AHS catcher Ericha Engle’s patience was rewarded with a lead off walk in the home half of the second. Lamont stepped into the batters box again and plated Engle with a single to center field, and came around to score after swiping second and third and hustling home on an error on Gianna Quatrini’s grounder to tie the game. Quatrini later scored on a passed ball to give Amsterdam its first lead at 5-4. Bowerman got the last two outs with strikeouts, and the Lady Cougars still had plenty of fight in them to respond one more time.

Bowerman helped her own cause leading off the top of the third with a triple, and came around to score on an error on Sheppard’s drive into center field. A single by Dimascio and walks to Madison Koebl and Alexa Lathers with the bases loaded brought three more runs home for the Lady Cougars and an 8-5 lead before AHS third baseman Morgan Durinick tracked down a pop up in foul territory off the bat of Bowerman and made the catch in front of the Amsterdam dug out. The cheering in the Amsterdam dugout reached a high pitched level that carried even higher with every play. Amsterdam senior outfielder Braelin Aldi had little voice left by the end of the game and could barely talk until the start of the game against Fonda-Fultonville. Patrei and the AHS defense retired 10 batters in a row, all but two on fly balls. Patrei battled back from a three balls and no strikes count facing Howse to strike her out on a change up. Michaela Kelly made a pair of running catches in left field to retire Bowerman ending the sixth, and then Sheppard leading off the seventh. The only hit for Canajoharie was Howse’s one out single in the seventh, but Patrei gloved a line drive off the bat of pinch hitter Carly Baker and fired to first to force Howse for a game ending double play.

“We had one bad inning, and then one bad one with me pitching,” Patrei said. “We caught up and after that we were o-kay. The cheering definitely helped today. Usually at morning games we come in and don’t start hitting until the sixth inning. For this game we were in it and really wanted to win.”

The Amsterdam offense responded in a big way. Patrei doubled leading off the bottom of the third and came round to score on Lucy Giglio’s grounder cutting the lead to 8-6, and Amsterdam needed another big inning and got one in the bottom of the fourth.

Lamont reached base safely for the third consecutive at bat, this time on an error leading off the Amsterdam part of the fourth. Lamont stole second and then third, but rolled her ankle sliding into third and came put in favor of pinch runner Janelle Pabis. A walk to Quatrini put the tying run on base for Kelly, who came through with her second key hit, a single to score both runners and tie the game at 8-8. The AHS outfielder then put the Lady Rams in front by hustling home on a wild pitch. Kelly finished the game with two hits, two runs, and three batted in, and on the defensive side recorded three put outs from her position in left field.

“All around Michaela Kelly had a good game on offense and defense,” Coach Cetnar said. “They were hitting line drives and we were catching them.”

Patrei walked in her second at bat of the inning and scored on Michaela Rust’s single to right, her second hit of the game to finish a 10-8 win. Patrei had come on in place of Rust in the pitchers’ circle, but the AHS starting hurler wasn’t phased by her struggles on the pitcher’s plate and helped the team with her bat. Patrei gave up only one hit after the Canajoharie four run third.

“She came in with no time to warm up,” Coach Cetnar said of Patrei. “She said she could and got stronger at the end of the game.”

What fueled the Amsterdam effort was the enthusiasm from all the AHS players, whether on the bench or in the field.

“The enthusiasm helped the batters and in the field,” Coach Cetnar said. “They were making noise. I was really proud of my bench. They really wanted to win.”

Amsterdam went on to face the Fonda-Fultonville Lady Braves in the championship contest. Fonda-Fultonville defeated Gloversville 18-6 in their first game on Saturday. Allie Krohn had three hits in four at bats including a double. Katarina Nordby had a pair of singles, Jenna Santabarbra, and Kelsey Denton both had singles, Gianna Carbone scored four runs and Nikki Baker scored three runs in the Lady Braves win.

Gloversville was led by Jenna Vickery who had a home run and a single. Emily Washburn added a double, and Aspen Darling, and Jazmyn Eberts had singles for the Lady Huskies.

Canajoharie came back to defeat Gloversville in the consolation game 13-5. The Lady Huskies led 5-3 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, but the Lady Cougars exploded for ten runs to clinch the win. Mackenzie Bowereman led Canajoharie with a home run and three runs batted in, and in the circle pitched a two hitter with nine strikeouts.

“She’s only a freshman,” Canajoharie Coach Bridget Anderson said of Bowerman. “She plays year round and is very dedicated.”

Alexa Lathers had a pair of singles and drove in one run, Morgan Koebl contributed a double and an RBI, Jenna Sheppard singled and drove home three runs, and Brittini Nestle had a pair of singles and runs batted in for the Lady Cougars.

Jenna Vickery doubled and drove in one run leading Gloversville. Marissa Strait had a single and Aspen Darling drove in a run in the Lady Huskies cause.

Amsterdam JV softball team wins tourney crown

The Amsterdam Lady Rams junior varsity softball team won both of its games in the 2016 Ron Paperniak Memorial Softball Tournament including a 19-1 triumph over Fonda-Fultonville in the championship game. Amsterdam took the first game on Saturday with a 15-2 victory over Johnstown. Amsterdam’s Ayana Cintron was named the best offensive player, and Fonda-Fultonville’s Sierra Rose received the best defensive honor.


Scott Mulford

Scott Mulford has been covering local sports for over 20 years. He previously wrote for the Amsterdam Star and The Free Press of the Mohawk Valley.