Shaker softball captures first Section II title in 15 years

@Dylan Rossiter
Shaker softball wins the Class title on Saturday, May 27,2017 at Luther Forest Park. Its the Blue Bisons first Sectional title since 2002. Photo provided by Shaker Athletics.

MALTA — The Shaker Blue Bison varsity softball team won their first Sectional title in 15-years on Saturday, outlasting the defending champion Ballston Spa Scotties 5-2 at Luther Forest Park.

While capturing the program’s firs title since 2002 is an accomplishment of itself, the win also closes wounds from a quarterfinal round loss in 2016. Last season, the No.1 seeded Bison dropped a heartbreaking contest against No.8 seed Guilderland, the last team to make it into the tournament.

“We had such a tough letdown, obviously, last season. The girls came back in this season ready to prove ourselves,” Shaker coach Kristen Calahan told the Times Union’s James Allen. “Our seniors have been awesome leaders all year.”

For the third straight game, the girls from North Colonie had to fight adversity to come back and take the W.

After jumping out to a 2-0 lead, Shaker saw its lead evaporate back to zeros in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ballston Spa freshmen Caroline Srokowski doubled on a line drive to left field, scoring teammates Paige Davis and Lillian Nitchman.

But the Bison would fight back in the very next inning. Junior shortstop Jessie Kirker led things off with a double to left field. She made it home two pitches later on a line drive single to center field from senior outfielder Alissa Folts. Ballston Spa added 2-outs to the scoreboard before Folts could make it home on a fly ball double from fellow senior Allie Lajeunesse.

In the top of the seventh inning, senior Bella Spadinger heroicly gave her squad an insurance run. The third basemen cracked a dinger over the left-field wall and increased the SHS lead to three, 5-2, the final score.

“It was everything, and more,” Spadinger told Allen. “We have been working so hard for three years.

The team will now face the Section III champion, in regionals, at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 2. If the Blue Bison can win that game, they will advance to the New York State Final Four in South Glens Falls.

STATS:
Shaker:
Name    AB  R  H  RBI  BB  K
Alissa Folts 4 3 3 1 0 0
Bella Spadinger 3 1 2 1 0 1
Meg Kutey 4 0 0 0 0 1
Allie Lajeunesse 3 0 2 3 0 1
Emmie Gilmore 3 0 0 0 0 1
Kelsey Wells 3 0 0 0 0 1
Shannon Bloodgood 3 0 1 0 0 0
Lexi Ratigan 2 0 1 0 0 1
Jess Kirker 3 1 1 0 0 1


Totals 28 5 10 5 0 7

Pitching:
NAME                         IP #P S% H R ER K BB HR
Allie Lajeunesse 7.0 93 .667 4 2 2 3 2 0

Ballston Spa:
Name AB R H RBI BB K
Ana Gold 2 0 1 0 0 0
Megan McMahon 3 0 0 0 0 0
Lauren Kersch 2 0 1 0 0 0
Paige Davis 0 1 0 0 0 0
Angelina Stile 2 0 0 0 0 0
Grace Thompson 3 0 0 0 0 0
Jillian Nitchman 2 1 0 0 1 1
Caroline Srokowski 3 0 1 2 0 1
Sarah Pritchard 3 0 0 0 0 1
Taylor Poitras 2 0 1 0 1 0


Totals 22 2 4 2 2 3

Pitching:
NAME IP #P S% H R ER K BB HR
Lauren Kersch 7.0 99 .747 10 5 4 7 0 1

And for good measure, here is the Class AA state bracket:
2017 NYSPHSAA Softball Championships Class AA(function(d){var mp = d.createElement(‘script’),h=d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0];mp.type=’text/javascript’;mp.async=true;mp.src=’http://www.maxpreps.com/includes/js/widget/widget.compressed.js’;h.appendChild(mp);})(document);

[Times Union]

-Dylan Rossiter – @ByDylanRossiter – Rossiter@518Sports.com-

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