On a gorgeous May afternoon in Schaghticoke, Hoosic Valley hosted the Academy of Holy Names in round one of the Class B softball sectionals. The Valley, state semifinalists from a year ago, was poised to post a victory and take the first step in what many feel will be another long run in the second season.
At game’s end the Indians got their “W” in a 6-3 decision, but it didn’t come easily.
Camille Coyne made quick work of Holy Names in the first retiring the Academy in order on six pitches. In the bottom of the frame the Valley loaded the bases on a pair of walks sandwiched around a Katrina Dean infield single and were set up for a big inning.
But Holy Names pitcher Sophie Bille minimized the damage, allowing the Indians just one run on a Kate Kennelly bases loaded walk, escaping the inning by striking out the side.
In the top of the second Kiera Cohen and Gabby Gallachi reached on singles to get things started for the Academy. Megan Scott was next for Holy Names hitting into a 4-6-3 twin killing, nicely turned by the Valley’s middle infielders Katrina Dean and Cierra Casale.
Hoosic Valley protected the 1-0 lead until the fifth when the visitors from Albany plated three.
Scott and Tess Urschel led off with back to back singles, and after Coyne fanned Ally Dewey, Adele Decker reached on an error to load the bases.
Coyne gloved a towering pop up for out number two and looked next to escape the inning, but Lexi D’Angelo ripped a two-run double, and Billie followed with an RBI single as AHN took a 3-1 lead.
The Valley wasted little time in answering, scoring three of their own in the bottom of the frame.
Danielle Stannard smoked a one-out double up the gap in left-center, and two batters later a swinging bunt by Coyne put runners on the corners with two out.
Lead-off hitter Bridget Ryan plated Stannard on a nice drag bunt, Dean delivered Coyne with an RBI single, and Ryan scored on a wild pitch as the Indians jumped back in front at 4-3.
The Valley gained some breathing room in the sixth, plating two more.
Ashley Madigan led off with a single to center, advanced to second on a sac bunt by Colleen Beamish, and scored on a single by Kennelly. Later in the frame Stannard brought home Kennelly with a ground out and the Indians led 6-3 heading to the seventh.
Holy Names didn’t go quietly when Aiyana McIntyre ripped a lead-off double for the Academy, and one out later Bille lined a single to center. On the play McIntyre was waved in and center fielder Stannard was up to the challenge throwing a rocket to the plate to get McIntyre and send the Valley to the sectional’s second round where they’ll face #5 Chatham in Schaghticoke on Friday.
The Indians banged out 10 hits on the afternoon, played a little small ball as well, and most importantly showed fight in coming from behind to post the “W”. All important elements needed for a extended post season run.