ROTTERDAM — A couple of varsity newcomers supplied the power for Mohonasen’s streaking softball team Monday, and a veteran pitcher made those runs stand up.
Ava Quenneville hit a three-run home run in the first inning, and Caitlyn Richmond added a key insurance run with a solo shot in the sixth as the Mighty Warriors beat Schalmont 5-3 in a rivalry game that matched two of the top teams in the Colonial Council.
“It’s Rotterdam. Crosstown rivalry. Everyone knows each other,” said Kiera Rogers, who on the mound was the beneficiary of those home runs. “You want to beat your friend’s team.”
Rogers pitched a four-hitter with 12 strikeouts and five walks in a complete-game pitching effort. She took a no-hitter and a 4-1 lead into the fifth inning before Schalmont pushed a run across in both the fifth and sixth.
[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”47″ display=”basic_imagebrowser”]“It was a tough battle,” said Quenneville, a sophomore first baseman who clubbed her first varsity homer as well as a single. “That’s what we expected.”
Mohonasen (6-1 league, 6-2 overall) extended its winning streak to six games since opening the season with losses to Troy and Ichabod Crane.
“We’re on a roll,” said first-year Mohonasen coach Bianca Bojarczuk, who inherited a team that graduated seven seniors. “It’s these girls coming together. They’re talking and cheering. It’s tough when you have girls from different leagues playing with each other. They’re playing as one now.”
Richmond hit her first varsity homer in the bottom of the sixth, a two-out drive over the left field fence, to give Mohonasen a 5-3 advantage.
“It felt good,” said Richmond, a freshman catcher. “I was happy. It helped us get another run and that was big.”
Rogers gave up a two-out single to Sara Kindlon in the seventh before an infield popout ended the game.
Getting Annalise Tyler on a deep fly to center was a key out to begin that seventh. Tyler, Schalmont’s speedy leadoff batter, had previously drawn two walks, singled, stolen four bases, picked up an RBI and scored a run.
“That was a huge out to start the seventh,” Bojarczuk said. “My heart was pounding. She [Tyler] is so fast.”
Rogers made some clutch pitches earlier in the game, too, as the junior recorded strikeouts to end the first, second and fifth innings with a runner on third.
“Having kids on doesn’t necessarily bother me,” Rogers said. “I know I can get through it.”
“She has matured and she has grown,” Bojarczuk said of Rogers. “When runners are on base it’s all about the batter now. She has gotten a lot better at that.”
Quenneville gave her pitcher three runs to work with when she homered over the center field fence off Schalmont hurler Alana Judeikis in the first, after Angelina Galusha started the inning with a single and Martiza Gonzalez drew a walk.
“I think that boosted our energy,” Quenneville said. “That got us stoked a little bit.”
“When she hit that it was like, ‘Yes,’” Rogers said. “Home runs definitely pick up the mood.”
Schalmont (6-2, 7-2) got a run back in the second when Tyler drew a bases loaded walk. Rogers retired eight straight batters after that and also hit an RBI single in the third that made it 4-1.
Tyler hit a one-out single in the fifth and made it a 4-2 game by scoring on a two-out single by Kindlon. Natalia Devine hit an RBI single in the Schalmont sixth after Kaylee Madia walked, stole a base and took third on a fielder’s choice.
Richmond’s homer was the last of five allowed by Judeikis, who also struck out two and walked two. Judeikis had gotten 11 consecutive outs before that homer.
“They’re two of my babies,” Bojarczuk said of Richmond and Quenneville. “I’m excited about the young group I have.”
Bojarczuk, who graduated from Schalmont in 2010, played second base and pitched for the Sabres softball team.
“I have to admit I had a little extra flame in me,” she said. “I didn’t want to lose to my old school.”
Schamont 010 011 0 — 3 4 0
Mohonasen 301 001 x — 5 5 0
Judeikis and Townsend; Rogers and Richmond.