On one bad bounce, Scotia-Glenville saw its best softball season come to an end Friday.
Taylor Clarke’s two-out single in the sixth inning barely eluded Scotia second baseman Sam Montague, and chased home the game’s only runs as Queensbury beat the Lady Tartans, 2-0, in a Section II Class A quarterfinal.
“We had two chances at it,” said Scotia coach Eric McNulty. “That’s the difference in the game when it’s that tight.
“You just knew, when it got to the fourth and fifth inning like that, it was going to come down to who had the first base runner on a hit or an error.”
Clarke’s base hit glanced off the glove of first baseman Ali Stuart as she moved to her right. Montague followed the play, only to see the ball hop over her glove into right field as two Queensbury base runners scored.
“It was close, but it didn’t go our way,” said Scotia senior pitcher Jen Mayette, referring to both the hit and the outcome of the game.
With Mayette and Queensbury senior Amy Zuccaro putting up zeroes, Queensbury coach Laura Laramie decided to shake things up in the third meeting of the season between the second- and third-place teams from the Foothills Council.
She went to her bench and called on junior varsity call-up Katie Molisano.
“We had to make something happen,” Laramie said. “I knew she had a good year at the JV level. She’s got some speed on the bases, and can make things happen if she gets on first base.
“I told her to jump on the first pitch. She did, and hit it down the line.”
Molisano swung late and lined a single just inside first base, and went to second when Scotia right fielder Alyssa McKenna misplayed the ball.
A walk and two ground outs put runners at second and third. With two out, both were running when Clarke made contact and scored easily.
Scotia missed a chance to go ahead in the third, when it got two of its five hits. Zuccaro got Mayette on strikes to end the threat.
“It would have been a well-deserved win by either side today. Both teams played well,” said McNulty, whose team beat Queensbury, 1-0, early in the season, and finished the year 13-3.
“Jen pitched a good game, and we played well behind her. That one ball got through.”
While Queensbury advanced to next Wednesday’s semis by winning the rubber game with the Lady Tartans, Scotia saw the first part of a rebuilding phase come to an end. Mayette and Stuart played big roles in the change.
“I can’t even explain how much it’s changed. We went from being one of those teams where we were like a pushover game, and now we’re a team that people look out for,” said Mayette, chosen as the Foothills Council MVP earlier in the week.
“It’s so good to see and hear that. It’s been amazing to see the program grow like that.”
“It’s not just two seniors we’re losing who are very good players, we’re losing big pieces of what we called our rebuilding process,” said McNulty. “They know where this program has come from.
“I had to remind them of that when we got together after the game. They were upset, but I told them to think about where we are now, and where we were.
“They set the mark for this program, those two and the girls who graduated the last couple of years.
“Other teams used to look at us, and count us as a win before the season even started. Now, they know that we can challenge them.”
Queensbury 000 002 0 — 2 4 0
Scotia 000 000 0 — 0 5 1
Zuccaro and Shaw; Mayette and Melanson.