When Jen Mayette and Ali Stuart made the Scotia-Glenville varsity softball team straight from the modified level, any win over a quality team qualified as a season highlight.
Not any more.
The Lady Tartans — fresh off a week that saw them beat perennial Foothills Council champ South Glens Falls and Queensbury in consecutive games — went to 4-0 in the league and 5-0 overall with a 16-5 win over Johnstown on Monday.
“When I saw the schedule, I was a little taken back,” said Mayette, one of Scotia’s two seniors. “We knew that those were big games. It was a little daunting, especially since we hadn’t been able to get outside.”
Scotia opened with a 3-2 win over defending Class A champ Troy, then beat Gloversville, 14-2, as Mayette hit three home runs and drove in nine.
Then came the win over South Glens Falls, just the third time the Lady Bullldogs had dropped a league game since 2004.
“That stat really stood out to us. It was kind of an eye-opener,” said Stuart, the team’s senior first baseman.
“We worked four years for that,” said Mayette.
“They knew they were playing three of the strongest teams they were going to see all season,” said head coach Eric McNulty. “I don’t think it scared them as much as they knew that they would have to be prepared for them.
“As far as I’m concerned, it was the best thing that could have happened for us. When you get wins against teams like that, you feed on it. And that’s exactly what these girls are doing.”
“I think every year we [she and Mayette] have been on varsity, the team has gotten better and better, and this is the culmination of all the work.” Stuart said.
“The dedication is a lot better. All of the girls coming up are very dedicated. Last week was huge. Everyone worked hard in the offseason, and it’s paying off.”
Mayette went back to the final game of the 2013 season in preparing for her senior year.
“We lost in the first round of the sectionals against Queensbury, and we had that in our minds. We wanted to do more,” she said. “We want to see how far we can go.”
McNulty opted to give Mayette a day off from the pitching circle, as Scotia plays at Broadalbin-Perth today, and goes to Hudson Falls on Thursday.
“I think she’s hitting her spots a lot more. This is the sharpest she’s looked to me since she’s been playing,” McNulty said of Mayette. “I’m really happy with what I’m seeing.
Sophomore Zoe Purvis held the fort, scattering nine hits, a handful never leaving the infield. Zoe Reid had Johnstown’s biggest hit, a three-run triple in the sixth.
Scotia had 10 hits, but took advantage of 15 walks (four consecutive with the bases full in the fourth inning) and four hit batters. Mayette drpve in three runs, as did leadoff hitter Laila Day, who belted a two-run home run.
“I thought we were a little sloppy on the bases today,” said McNulty, referring to two plays where his team ran into an out at third. “I would have liked to have seen better decisions made. That could have a lot to do with being a little too comfortable.
“That’s not normal for us. The bottom line is they pulled off the win, and that’s what counts.”
Johnstown 002 003 0 — 5 9 6
Scotia-Glenville 231 721 x — 16 10 0
Claburn, Aceto (4) and Esposito; Z.Purvis and Melanson.