AHS softball team battles cold, defeats Gloversville

The spring sports season often has its share of cold weather games, but as the calendar inches toward May, the bitter chill in the air doesn’t seem to want to subside. The Amsterdam Lady Rams softball team felt that chill on Friday afternoon as they battled the cold and the Gloversville Huskies in a Foothills Council game at Shuttleworth Park. The Lady Rams used a 13 hit attack to back a strong outing in the circle from freshman hurler Sydney Szczepanik and prevail over the cold and their opponent, 16-4.

“Our offense is playing really well,” Amsterdam coach Brendan Cetnar said. “We’re hitting opposing pitchers hard. Even when we’re not scoring a lot of runs, we’re still hitting the ball hard.”

Amsterdam got on the board early scoring three runs in the bottom of the first courtesy of a pair of walks and a pair of singles including Nicole DeRose’s two run liner into right field that plated Karly Power and Emma Patrei. Megan Lamont collected the first hit of the game and scored the first run on a passed ball helping AHS to a 3-0 lead. The Lady Rams sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the second inning and followed up on their offensive success scoring four more times for an early 7-0 lead.

Giuliana Pritchard singled with one out in the second and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch before scoring on Madison Carmona’s single to left. One batter later, Patrei brought Carmona home with the second run of the inning. Pritchard, Carmona, and Patrei were each responsible for three AHS runs. The inning nearly ended on the next play, but Shelby Lamont reached on the first of two Gloversville errors in the inning extending the Lady Rams chances to score.

“We played poor defensively today,” Gloversville coach Mark LeFever said. “Both teams had to play in the element (cold), but we had too many mistakes today.”

Karly Power’s two out single scored both Patrei and Lamont turning it into a four run frame for the Lady Rams. Both Power and DeRose were aboard when Szczepanik singled to load the bases, but the Lady Rams were denied a chance for more runs when Power was tagged out at home trying to score on a wild pitch. Amsterdam’s defense was solid through the first two innings with Szczepanik working on a no hitter, but the Lady Huskies broke through in the third.

Kaitlyn Cwiakala was hit by a pitch to lead off the Gloversville third. Szczepanik settled down and retired Alex Benfatti on a grounder before the heart of the GHS batting order stepped in for their second try against the AHS freshman hurler. Gabby Langley sent a rocket into center field for a triple scoring Cwiakala, and back to back doubles by Jen Vickery and Michaela Ponticello pushed two more runs across nearly halving the AHS lead. Szczepanik kept her composure and retired the next batter on a ground ball and struck out the last hitter to end the threat. Szczepanik allowed only one more run the rest of the way when the Lady Huskies put together three singles in the fifth. She finished the game scattering six hits, striking out five and walking only one.

“Sydney (Szczepanik) threw a phenomenal game,” Coach Cetnar said. “She had only one inning where they hit the ball hard, but we got those runs back. She kept everyone off balance.”

Leading 7-3 after three complete, the Lady Rams scored two runs in the fourth, three in the fifth, and four in the sixth. DeRose highlighted the fourth with a two-run single capping a four RBI day for the AHS first baseman. Carmona added an RBI single in the fifth, and a two run double in the sixth to finish with three hits, and four RBI’s.

Gabby Langley and Michaela Ponticello each had a pair of hits for Gloversville. Vickery and Kendra Lavery had one hit each. Ponticello also pitched every inning for the Lady Huskies and walked four while striking out two. Ponticello looked good at times getting help from her defense to record a scoreless third, but four fielding errors on the day by the GHS defense extended Amsterdam’s chances to score runs and break open the game.

“Michaela (Ponticello) pitched pretty well,” Coach LeFever said.”But, we had too many mistakes. This is a tough one to swallow.”

Given more opportunities to score, the Lady Rams were ready to take advantage. Shelby Lamont and Kysten Orsini each scored a pair of runs. Shelby Lamont, Power, Pritchard, Szczepanik, and Michaela Kelly each had one hit. Patrei and Megan Lamont had two hits each with Lamont’s second one putting the finishing touches on the Lady Rams second win in three games this week.

“That’s been the big theme,” Coach Cetnar said. “We’ve been down but come back to score runs. We did that in the Scotia game on Wednesday, and have kept going. We’re not giving up, and we’ve kept hitting the ball.”

Amsterdam (4-2, 3-1 Foothills Council) has another busy week beginning Monday when they travel to Broadalbin-Perth for the first of five games in six days. The Lady Rams host Queensbury on Wednesday before traveling to South Glens Falls on Friday, and then wrap up the week hosting the varsity portion of a tournament with Mayfield on Saturday when they will play a pair of games at Shuttleworth Park.

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.