MALTA — It was thoughtful of Shenendehowa and Colonie to make sure fans got their money’s worth in the Section 2 Class AA softball final Thursday.
Some nerves on both sides are frayed from the gesture, but it was a memorable finish, as Shenendehowa withstood Colonie’s bottom-of-the-seventh rally to win 7-6 at Luther Forest Athletic Fields.
The third-seeded Plainsmen — who had a dramatic 9-6 nine-inning semifinal win over Guilderland — led 7-2 entering the bottom of the seventh. That’s when top-seeded Colonie strung together four runs on four hits, two errors and a hit-by-pitch, with the tying run on second base before Shenendehowa ended the threat to win its ninth straight game, its first Section 2 championship since 2021 and its 12th since 1977.
Shenendehowa (15-6) will play the Section 3 champion in a state quarterfinal at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 3, at Carrier Park in East Syracuse.
“Oh my God,” said Shenendehowa third baseman Emily Baumes. “So, I looked at the score and I knew we were up and we had to hold them. As soon as they started getting hits, my nerves rose. We started making errors. But it’s a Shen win, we have to put on a show for everyone!”
Until the bottom of the seventh, the show had been one-sided. Shenendehowa scored its first two runs in the top of the second on alert baserunning from Sara Isaacs, who had a leadoff double and eventually scored from third on an error, just beating the tag, and an RBI single from Gabriella Kean.
“I wanted to just get a base hit to get the team going, and I knew that was a huge deal,” said Kean, who had another RBI single in the fourth. “It kept [pitcher Breanna Hayes] comfortable in the circle.”
The Plainsmen added two more in the fourth. Kean’s RBI single scored Natalia Colone, who doubled off the center field fence with one out, and Baumes followed with an RBI double down the left field line. That forced Colonie to make a pitching change from Adrianna Laraway to Lauren Cosselman.
Shenendehowa made it 6-0 in the fifth. Morgan Smith’s single scored Kelsey Higgins, who had led off with a double to shallow right field. Colone then followed with an RBI double to center field.
Colonie got on the board in the bottom of the fifth when Abby Hacker had a leadoff walk and came around on an error.
Shenendehowa went up 7-1 in the sixth, as Baumes tripled to center field and came in on Emily Markowski’s sacrifice fly. Colonie scored another run on an error in the bottom half of the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Colonie (17-3) got RBI singles from Taylor Quinn and Katie Parisi, as well as a two-RBI infield single from Jenny Shafer. Shenendehowa got a key second out when Gabby Baumann had an infield single, but a Colonie runner was tagged out at third base. Hayes (six strikeouts) forced a groundout to end the game.
“Bre was hitting her spots, trying to put some spin on the ball so they couldn’t drive it. Eventually, it found the glove,” Shenendehowa coach Chris Farquharson said.
“We’ve talked about being tough all year,” Colonie coach Sean Merchant said. “There’ve been many games we were down. Last time we played them, we were down. They didn’t count themselves out. You’re down five runs going into the seventh inning, that’s a big undertaking. With some great leadership and the girls keeping each other focused and competitive, I’m extremely proud of the way we played today.”
Shenendehowa’s nine-game winning streak was preceded by a four-game losing streak, making it, in Farquharson’s words, “one of our most challenging seasons at Shen recently.”
“We got really down on ourselves,” Baumes said, “but as soon as we beat [Saratoga Springs] in the regular season, that’s when we started to rise, and I think we’re just going up from there.”
“I love how the girls have competed every day, haven’t given up, coming out and wanting the win,” Farquharson said.
Shenendehowa 020 221 0 — 7
Colonie 000 011 4 — 6
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Categories: High School Sports, Sports