After loss to Schuylerville, Lady Rams softball coach to petition for playoffs

Only a week ago the Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity softball team sat on the verge of making it to the sectional playoffs for he first time in four years. One win in their last three games would have given them an automatic bid into the NYSPHSAA Section 2 Class A playoffs. Losses to Foothills Council South Division rivals Gloversville and Scotia-Glenville set the stage for a dramatic final home game Monday afternoon at Shuttleworth Park with the Lady Black Horses of Schuylerville. But, it became a contest that the Lady Rams would just as soon forget. Amsterdam fell 9-1 in the Foothills Council crossover game and now must wait and see if they can petition to get in to the playoff round.

“I’m writing the letter tonight,” Amsterdam coach Brendan Cetnar said.

The Lady Rams’ struggle began with last Tuesday’s game at home against Gloversville. A third inning blast off the bat of Lady Huskies pitcher Jen Vickery went off the glove of determined Amsterdam outfielder Kat Keyser and turned into three runs leading to a 4-2 Gloversville win. Unfortunately for Amsterdam, history had a habit of repeating itself.

After a diving catch by shortstop Lamont for the first out of the Schuylerville second, the next four batters all reached base starting with a double by opposing hurler Teagan Andrews and continuing with a single by Hannah Klingbiel, and a hit batter. Sydney Warmt’s single plated one run, and after a pop out to first for the second out, Grace Pelletier Hoblock’s bat did all the damage.

Pelletier-Hoblock had accounted for Schuylerville’s first run in the opening inning when she tripled and scored on a passed ball, but in the second she launched a fly ball into left field almost in the same spot that Vickery had hit one only a week earlier, and once again it went off the glove of an Amsterdam outfielder. Despite another valiant effort, the well-hit ball carried and Michaela Kelly couldn’t hold onto it. Three runs crossed the plate putting Schuylerville up 5-1, and it turned out to be all they would need.

“The ball drifted a little in left field,” Coach Cetnar said. “If it doesn’t we’re out of that inning.”

Things had started to look good for the Lady Rams despite the first inning run by a Shuylerville team that posted only a 3-1 win over AHS two weeks ago. After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, Amsterdam wasted no time in knotting things up when AHS lead off batter Megan Lamont smacked a triple into the outfield. Gianna Quatrini followed with a sacrifice bunt scoring Lamont, and reached first base in the process. However, the Lady Rams couldn’t push across the go ahead run, and the flood gates opened for Schuylerville in the second inning. Andrews then settled in and kept the Amsterdam bats quiet striking out nine batters in a row between the first and third innings. Before it was over, Andrews recorded 15 strikeouts, walked none and allowed only three hits. The Lady Black Horses offense gave her all the support she needed.

Schuylerville tacked on two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth. Lauren Kelleher singled, stole second base, and scored on an RBI single by Pelletier- Hoblock. A sacrifice bunt by Emily Vallee moved Pelletier- Hoblock to third, and Caitlin Kelleher’s single to right scored the lead runner expanding the score to 7-1. Lauren Kelleher added a two run single in the fifth for the resulting 9-1 lead. Meanwhile, the Lady Rams offense struggled to get anything going against Andrews. Amsterdam made better contact in the last two innings with Patrei’s double the lone AHS hit over that time, but Andrews calmly set down the last three AHS batters on strikes to end the game.

“It took until the last couple of innings to start hitting the ball,” Coach Cetnar said. “It looked good after the first inning.”

Patrei struck out five over five innings in the pitchers circle, giving up nine runs, but only three were earned. Michaela Rust came on in the sixth and pitched two shutout innings, allowing two hits and struck out three with an effective change up.

The Lady Rams (9-11 overall, 6-8 Foothills Council) must now wait and see if their petition is accepted. Amsterdam has a tournament win to its credit as well as victories over Class A teams including Queensbury during a very competitive schedule. The Section 2 meeting to decide seeds for the softball playoffs is Wednesday morning.

“We’ll see what happens and take it from there,” Coach Cetnar said. “We just have to wait and see.”

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.