Softball: LaLonde helps Lady Bills stay perfect, 3-0

A 5-0 start has Johnstown looking for more softball success.

A 5-0 start has Johnstown looking for more softball success.

“We set some goals, and we’ve hit every goal so far,” said coach Ron Savoie after his Lady Bills beat Broadalbin-Perth, 3-0, Friday for their third win in as many Foothills Council games. “We’re satisfied at 5-0, but we’re real hungry We’ll see what happens.”

Returning Foothills Council first-team pitcher Alyssa LaLonde had a big hand in Friday’s win. The 11th-grader gave herself a 1-0 lead with a home run to left with one out in the second, and shut down the Lady Patriots on four hits, striking out nine.

“She works hard. This is her sport, and she works all winter long,” said Savoie. “Right now, she’s in a goove. She’s only walked three in five games. You’re going to win games when your pitcher can do that. You play defense and you give her some support.”

The additional runs came from a two-out, two-run single in the third inning from third baseman Katherine Bant.

The two hits were the only mistakes by Broadalbin-Perth pitcher Courtney Stead. The senior, who lost her 2010 season to a knee injury, gave up six hits and struck out 13.

“It was an equally well-pitched game. I feel sorry for Courtney, that our offense couldn’t support her performance,” said Broadalbin-Perth coach Gary Roorda. “The hits were minimal. The difference was when they came.”

LaLonde’s trip around the bases was one of those instances.

“I was a little surprised, actually,” said LaLonde, not expecting her legs to play a key role in the game. “He [Savoie] kept yelling, ‘Go, go, go.’ I was like, ‘OK.’ ”

“The ball was still a good 20 yards out,” said Savoie, also possibly feeling LaLonde was fresh after throwing only four pitches in the top of the inning. “I thought one or two runs was going to win the game. It was worth taking advantage of it.”

“I would have settled for a triple,” said LaLonde with a laugh.

Tired or not, LaLonde dug in and refused to let the Lady Pats score in the third after they loaded the bases on an error, a misplayed sacrifice and Stead’s one-out single.

“We had bases loaded, no one out. Give her credit, she struck out the next two, the heart of our order,” said Roorda. “It could have been a different game if we scored at that point, and got some con­fidence and momentum.

“If we can’t manufacture at least one run, we don’t deserve to win.”

Instead, the Lady Bills are taking a different attitude into next week’s schedule that includes games against perennial Foothills powers South Glens Falls and Queensbury.

“It feels good to get some wins under out belt before we play them,” said LaLonde, who retired the final eight hitters she faced and set down 14 of the final 15 after Stead’s single in the third. “Winning the Foothills Council is our main goal. Right now, we’re tied for first, and we’d like to beat South Glens Falls for the first time ever.”

Savoie is anxious to see how his team does against the league’s best.

“I don’t know the last time Johnstown was tied for first place after three games,” said Savoie. “We’re happy where we are, and we’re going to throw everything we can at them.

“We’re getting to the point where winning is important. We’re not happy to just win right now. We want to compete with Mechanicville, we want to compete with Hoosick Falls.”

Broadalbin-Perth’s immediate goals are more modest.

“Our expectations are to get back to sectionals, any way possible” said Roorda. “It’s difficult in softball, because we’re one of the few sports where you have to win 50 percent of your league games to qualify. Apply that to a tough league where we’re one of the smaller schools, and it’s an uphill battle. Above .500 for us, it’s a struggle.”

Broadalbin-Perth was coming off a 16-2 loss to Hudson Falls.

“We self-imploded,” said Roorda of that game. “We recovered well.

“We’ve got one direction to go, and we’re going to get better as the season goes on.”

Broadalbin-Perth 000 000 0 — 0 4 0

Johnstown 012 000 x — 3 6 1

Stead and Samples; LaLonde and Hlozansky.

Categories: High School Sports

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