Lady Rams advance to Class A title game
AMSTERDAM — Shelby LaMont had a three-run home run in the third inning to help fifth-seeded Amsterdam to a 4-2 victory over ninth-seeded Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in a Section II Class A semifinal contest Thursday at Shuttleworth Park.
“This is a great win for our program,” Amsterdam coach Brenden Cetnar said. “This is a great group of girls and they’ve really worked hard to get to this point. It’s great that they have a chance to play in a championship game together.
The Lady Rams last reached a sectional final in 1982, losing to Niskayuna. Amsterdam has never won a sectional crown in softball, but this could be the year that the drought ends.
With home games in this year’s sectional tournament taking place at the higher seeds, the Lady Rams got an unexpected home game when Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (7-8 overall) knocked off top-seeded Averill Park, 8-2, in the quarterfinals Wednesday.
“We took advantage of what was given to us,” Cetnar said. “We got to play a semifinal game on our home field and not have to take a bus ride. It was nice to have a home game.”
Amsterdam also had a day of rest between its quarterfinal win over Mohonasen on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s semifinal contest.
“Burnt Hills was playing for the second day in a row and that’s alway tough to do,” Cetnar said.
Natalie Flint had a double for the Lady Rams, while Gaby Maroto and Rosie Sculco each had singles. Nani Cintron added an RBI sacrifice fly for Amsterdam.
Szczepanik earned the win in the circle for the Lady Rams, striking out nine and allowing nine hits over seven innings.
Lily Haluska had a home run, double and scored two runs for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, while Reeghan Neary had a double and two singles. Kaitlyn Ramos had a double for the Spartans, and Carlianna Ewing, Jessica De La Fleur and Ella Katz all had singles.
Amsterdam (12-4 overall) advances to face top-seeded South Glens Falls (15-0 overall) in Saturday’s Class A championship game at Moreau State Park at 4 p.m. The Bulldogs posted 7-2 victory over third-seeded Queensbury in their semifinal contest Thursday. Amsterdam lost its regular-season meeting at South Glens Falls, 6-0, on June 4.
“This is a great group of eight seniors,” Cetnar said. “Win or lose Saturday’s game will be our last together and I’m going to miss them.”
Amsterdam 4, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 2
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 001 001 0 — 2 9 1
Amsterdam 003 100 x — 4 4 2
WP – Szczepanik; LP – Benamati.