BROADALBIN — After spending two years on the Broadalbin-Perth junior varsity softball team as an eighth and ninth-grader, Kiaira Tomlinson couldn’t wait to take her rips as a member of the high school’s varsity squad.
That didn’t happen during her sophomore year, or in her junior year, either.
“It was very hard,” the Patriots senior said of last year’s campaign that was taken away due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We had four practices and the season was over. Next thing you know, the school is closed.”
Tomlinson made up for lost time Tuesday with a perfect performance at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a pair of two-run home runs and three runs scored in Broadalbin-Perth’s 11-9 non-league loss to Fonda-Fultonville.
The varsity game was not only the first for Tomlinson and all of the other Patriots, but for head coach Megan Sherman, too.
Sherman had guided the Patriots through those early workouts in 2020 before the season came to a sudden halt.
“We were devastated,” Sherman said. “We had a handful of seniors, and for them and our juniors, and it was especially hard for those girls. They were looking forward to that season.”
Broadalbin-Perth fielded only a junior varsity team in 2019 when one senior showed a desire to play. The school’s last varsity season was the year before that.
“We felt it was in the best interest of the program,” varsity assistant Gail DeCicco said before Tuesday’s contest. “Now we’re back this year and we’re excited to get the girls back out there playing.”
Tomlinson, who belted two-run homers in the second and sixth innings, was super excited to begin what will be her abbreviated, but much appreciated, varsity career.
“I heard in January we might have a season. In the beginning of February it was, ‘We’re going to have a season,’ and I was jumping up and down,” said Tomlinson, who started Tuesday’s game at catcher and later moved to third base. “Softball is my favorite sport and I’ve played since I was three. I couldn’t imagine my senior year with no softball.”
“All of our girls are excited about the season and getting to play,” Sherman said.
Broadalbin-Perth showed plenty of spirit after falling behind 6-2, with the Patriots tying the game with a four-run third inning that saw Camille Calderone and Megan Bazan hit two-run singles. The Patriots answered later and made it a one-run game after falling behind 8-6 and 10-7.
“Foothills Council teams, you know they’re going to come to play,” Fonda-Fultonville coach Shawn Flynn said.
“We kept our heads in the game,” Tomlinson said. “We wanted to win.”
Calderone and Bazan both had three hits and Kelsey Hinderliter added two.
“We rallied back and stayed positive,” Sherman said. “They did awesome. I’m proud of them.”
Tomlinson’s two-run homer in the sixth cut Broadalbin-Perth’s deficit to 10-9, and Talor Ferrucci hit an RBI single for the Braves in the seventh for a key insurance run.
“We were using this game to work out the kinks and get ready for league play,” Sherman said.
Emma Crahan had a homer and a two-run single for the Braves, and Kaylee Egelston, Kami Walton, Ferrucci and Maddy Mott also finished with two hits.
Fonda-Fultonville 150 112 1 — 11 11 2
Broadalbin-Perth 204 012 0 — 9 14 9