GLOVERSVILLE - The Lady Huskies varsity softball team hosted their home opener on the newly-constructed field behind the middle school and won in impressive fashion against Albany-based Bishop Maginn with heavy bats and consistent pitching.
While Gloversville lost its first game of the season 2-0 to Albany, the Huskies didn't take long to rebound on the field, although they were down for a short period in the top of the first.
The Huskies were able to stay on top for the majority of the 13-2 victory with senior Jesse DeVoe batting for the cycle and senior Alexis Capasso adding a two-run home run and triple. Huskies pitcher Sammy Stewart finished the game with her second consecutive game of striking out eight batters.
Gloversville varsity softball coach Bruce Bump gives Alexis Capasso the go signal as she rounds third and heads for home for a two-run home run in Monday’s non-league home opener against Bishop Maginn at Gloversville Middle School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
"[Stewart] is starting out really good this year," second-year coach Bruce Bump said. "She worked hard in the off-season and developed her two new pitches, the drop and the changeup, that are working really good. She is three times the pitcher she was last year and the work she has put in is really showing.
"It is good to get that win now because we have a few more out-of-league games left before the Foothills starts, and to get a win now will give these girls some confidence to build on," Bump added. "Everyone was hitting and the bats were alive; it looked good."
Maginn senior Shiann Coons led off the inning with a single to the shortstop and was advanced to second by Courtney Lane.
The Griffins' Kathryn Nowosielski hit a single and stole second to put two runners in scoring position for Bishop Maginn. Maginn's Caitlin Hupe hit a grounder to Gloversville shortstop Devon Davis, who made the fielder's choice to throw her out at first and let the runner score, giving the Griffins their only lead of the game, 1-0.
Gloversville's Junior pitcher Sammy Stewart made short work of the next batter with a three-pitch strikeout of Shayla Lyons to end the inning.
The Lady Huskies would take the lead and score their first runs of the year after Jesse DeVoe followed Brooke Washburn's RBI groundout to first with an RBI single of her own.
Stewart made quick work in the second by striking out three of the four batters at the plate.
Capasso hit a two-run bomb to deep left field in the second inning to score and bring the lead to 4-1. In the fourth inning, Davis and Nikki DiMarco were left swinging at the plate with consecutive strikeouts before Capasso would hit a line-drive triple to center field.
The next batter, Ashley Funk, was walked and made a quick decision to immediately steal second. The Griffins attempted to throw her out, which allowed Capasso to score, bringing the lead to 5-1. Brooke Washburn hit a single to bring Funk home and DeVoe hit a home run to score two more runs and bring the lead to 8-1.
The Griffins made a change in the outfield in the bottom of the fifth by switching right fielder Dominique Martinez out for Elizhane Parson and left fielder Grace Casscles for Emma Simoneaux.
The fielding changes made no difference, however, with the Huskies adding an additional three runs, including an RBI triple to right field by Nikki DiMarco to push the lead to 11-1.
DeVoe completed her cycle in the bottom of the sixth with a triple between right and center field and was hit home by Natalie Ozea, who grounded out to the pitcher.
The Huskies would finish their last at-bat in the sixth with a 13-1 lead.
Stewart came into the final inning hot with two consecutive strikeouts on Mackenzie Halloran and Emma Simoneaux. However, she then walked the next batter and allowed back to back singles to put her in a jam with two outs and the bases loaded.
The Griffins Nowosielski hit a single toward second base and scored one of the runners to make the score 13-2.
The next batter, Caitlin Hupe hit a grounder to second baseman Washburn, who then tagged one of the baserunners out to end the game.
The Griffins' pitcher Courtney Lane finished the day with two strikeouts and allowed 12 hits.
The teams coach, Joe Zaccardo said he came into the game expecting some mistakes because this was his teams first game of the season and the first time they have made it on the field all year. He said they have only been able to practice in their school gym because of the late season snow.
"Five out of my 11 girls played their first organized game of softball today," Zaccardo said. "We expected to struggle today because we have been rebuilding and don't have a JV program. The seniors are trying to work with the younger teammates as much as possible, but we are rebuilding. Hopefully, in the next year or so we will be able to grow."
Gloversville (1-1 overall) will travel to Johnstown on Wednesday for its Foothills Council opener.