It was another typical Shenendehowa-Colonie softball game Colonie grabs the lead, and Kayla Hines finds a way to come up big for Shen.
Hines belted an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth inning, and Angie Sagnelli worked out of a jam in the seventh to help the Plainswomen beat the Garnet Raiders 2-1 in Friday’s Section II, Class AA championship game at Clifton Common for Shen’s fifth consecutive title.
Each one is different, and I take it one at a time,` said Shen coach Dan D’Amboise. `I’ve had good fortune, good players and a little good luck.`
`Friday was symbolic of how we’ve played all year,` said Colonie coach Chris Robilotti. `We played well and had a chance to win the game.`
As with their two Suburban Council meetings this year, Colonie (16-9) grabbed the lead on Shen. Samantha Mullen tripled with one out in the top of the second inning and scored on a fielding error to put the Lady Raiders ahead 1-0.
The Plainswomen (22-1) answered in their half of the second inning on consecutive doubles by Amanda Ferro and Ashley D’Agostino. Shen didn’t threaten again until the fifth when Jennifer Mongiovi and K.C. Levin reached base to lead off the inning. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners up, but Mongiovi was thrown out at home trying to score on the play.
Hines made certain she didn’t leave Levin on base. The senior third baseman launched Toni Fusco’s pitch into left field to drive in Levin for the go-ahead run.
`We’ve gotten her out a few times this year, but when it comes to crunch time, she comes through for them,` said Robilotti.
`She becomes more focused when the game is on the line,` said D’Amboise.
Colonie had a chance to tie the game in the top of the seventh with two outs and runners on first and second, but Sagnelli struck out the final Lady Raider batter to pick up the complete-game victory.
`She was a bad hop away from pitching three consecutive shutouts in the playoffs,` D’Amboise said of Sagnelli, who scattered four hits. `She’s on a run right now, which is fortunate for us. She’s on top of her game.`
Shen advanced to Tuesday’s regional final against Section III champion Liverpool, while Colonie looked forward to a 2008 season in which it returns its entire starting lineup.
`I’m hoping that (the momentum from the playoff run) carries over to next year,` said Robilotti. `For having such a young team this year, which I never made excuses for I hope the experience is something they can bring to the table next year. They know what to expect now, and they know they can’t give up leads.“