Lady Bills get springboard for softball sectionals

Ron Savoie is glad his Lady Bills softball team righted itself Friday. Johnstown ended its regular s

Ron Savoie is glad his Lady Bills softball team righted itself Friday.

Johnstown ended its regular season with a 13-6 Foothills Council win over Gloversville, using a seven-run sixth inning to put away its rival. The victory snapped a three-game losing streak, and Savoie hopes it will provide a spark for the Lady Bills’ next start, which will be their opening-round game in the Class B sectionals.

“It was nice to get back on that winning track as we limp into sectionals,” said Savoie, who made a handful of changes to his lineup necessitated by injuries, absence and fatigue. “Especially after losing at Hudson Falls. That one was tough.”

Savoie lost center fielder Kassandra Buseck to a wrist injury in Thursday’s 6-4 loss at Hudson Falls, a game in which the Lady Bills stranded 13 runners. Shortstop Lindsey Achzet missed Friday’s game — a makeup from a rainout earlier in the week — due to a previously scheduled dental appointment.

And Savoie wanted to give pitcher Alyssa LaLonde a break.

“Some of the other girls stepped up and played well,” said Savoie, who gave Marybeth DeCuyke the pitching start, inserted Stacy Loucks into Buseck’s spot in center field and moved third baseman Kate Bant to shortstop.

“I wanted to give Alyssa a break, and I thought Marybeth did a great job,” Savoie said of DeCuyke, who gave up just three hits and struck out six before turning it over to LaLonde with one out and two on in the fifth inning with her team up, 6-3.

“Stacy Loucks stepped in today and did a great job. And Kate Bant has been consistent with her bat. She leads the team in RBI, and most of them have come in the second half of the year.”

Even with Loucks hitting a two-run homer in the second, the Lady Bills found themselves locked in a tight game with the Dragons, who hadn’t played since beating Glens Falls for their only league win exactly a week previously.

“It was good to get a win after those three losses, especially going into sectionals,” said Loucks. “I was just happy to be able to help the team win.”

Gloversville took a 3-2 lead, and came back to pull into a 6-6 tie in the top of the fifth on Angie Dutcher’s RBI single before the teams had to sit through a rain delay in the sixth.

The game was completely different after the break, as the Lady Bills sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth, and LaLonde retired six of the seven hitters she faced over the last two innings.

Alicia Corbett and Bant hit a two-run singles and Gabby Hale had an RBI single in Johnstown’s big inning,

“The focus kind of got lost,” said Gloversville coach Krista Jensen, whose team had used three walks and four hit batters to score its runs and turned in some good defense to stay in the game.

The Dragons threw out a runner at the plate with two good relays, and the left side of the infield — third baseman Ally Ostrander and shortstop Alexis Capasso — made a number of better than average plays.

“We typically have moments of success. The relays from the outfield on the play at home, a sac­rifice bunt,” said Jensen, whose team finishes up today with two games, hosting Queensbury at noon and going to Scotia-Glenville at 4.

“Toward the end of the season, we’ve picked up the effort. We beat Glens Falls last week, which was a big win for us. Then we had entire week off, so our heads were a little in and out of it. They played well [except for] one inning.”

“We had the big inning, and before that, we kept coming back. That’s something we’ve been doing all year,” said Savoie, whose team finished 9-5 in the league and 13-5 overall and will find out Tuesday who they play first in the postseason. “We finished ahead of where we were last year, that’s a positive. We play a tough Foothills schedule, so we’ll wait until Tuesday to see where we are.”

Gloversville 002 130 0 —  6  4 6

Johnstown 020 407 x — 13 11 2

Calabrese and Ostrander, Benton (6); DeCuyke, LaLonde (5) and Hlozansky.

Categories: High School Sports

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