MOREAU — Hannah Breen and the rest of the South Glens Falls Bulldogs weren’t going to let tournament surprise Amsterdam get in the way of a softball championship.
Breen gave up one hit after the first inning, Molly Rafferty knocked in two runs and South Glens Falls won 5-0 Saturday at Moreau Recreational Park to gain the Section II Class A title it came so close to attaining in 2019.
“This was the goal all year,” said Breen, a senior right-hander who has committed to pitch at The College of Saint Rose. “To be champions, I have no words.”
Breen, Deme Kellogg, Courtney Robarge and Christine Mallette were members of the team that two years ago lost to Ballston Spa 3-2 in the Class A final. South Glens Falls had an extended wait to get another crack at the top spot after the 2020 spring campaign was wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That was such a tough loss,” South Glens Falls coach Laurie Ciuffetelli said after her team used Breen’s pitching, eight hits, five stolen bases, flawless defense and a couple of Amsterdam errors to complete a 16-0 season. “It’s so nice to get back and get it done.”
The championship-game win was part of the first set of Section II-sponsored tournaments held since the winter of the 2019-20 school year. There are no regional or state competitions, though, to move on to.
“Without states, that was a bummer, but to win something means a lot,” Breen said.
Fifth-seeded Amsterdam was facing an uphill climb in its bid to bring a first softball championship back to the school. The Rams had lost to the second-seeded Bulldogs 6-0 earlier this season.
“Three hits got it done the other day, but not today,” Amsterdam coach Brenden Cetnar said in reference to Thursday’s 4-2 semifinal win against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake. “We went 14 innings against her [Breen] and got nothing against her.”
Breen gave up first-inning singles to Gaby Maroto and Jordyn Wozniak and a fifth-inning single to Nani Cintron. Breen also walked a batter and struck out 11, including the side in the second and the final two batters she faced.
“Today, some inexperience showed, and their pitcher was lights out,” Cetnar said.
“Every single game Hannah has been so consistent,” said Rafferty, a senior third baseman who collected three hits. “She is a wicked asset to this team.”
South Glens Falls took advantage of two Amsterdam errors to score its first run in the second inning. In the third, the Bulldogs collected four hits and tacked on three more runs. Kellogg opened that inning with a double, Rafferty hit an RBI single and Emma Martens hit an RBI double. Robarge got another run in with a fielder’s choice grounder.
“If you can get up a couple runs and have a good pitcher, it’s in the other teams’ head,” Ciuffetelli said.
“We’re not a high-scoring team,” Cetnar said. “That three-run inning took a little wind out of us.”
Rafferty, who along with Breen and several other players was on a 12-0 basketball team in the winter season, added an RBI single in the fourth inning.
“Being unbeaten in two seasons, it’s all I can ask for,” Rafferty said.
Since winning its last title in 2012, South Glens Falls three times finished as the tournament runner-up.
Amsterdam (13-5) beat Mohonasen 8-4 before topping Burnt Hills to reach its first championship game since 1982. The Rams lost to Niskayuna that year in the title game.
“They did something that hasn’t happened in 40 years. You make a run like that, you can’t put your head down,” Cetnar said. “I’ve never been prouder of a team. Never had a team that played with so much heart. We’re going to go out for some ice cream and celebrate what we did.”
Amsterdam 000 000 0 — 0 3 3
South Glens Falls 013 100 x — 5 8 0