A solid seven innings from pitcher Kirstyn Alonzo and one big inning from her teammates were more than enough for Mechanicville in Thursday’s Class B regional softball semifinal at Malta Rec.
Alonzo turned in a five-hitter, and the Lady Raiders batted around in a five-run third inning that produced a 6-1 win over Section VII champion Saranac. The result puts
Mechanicville one long bus ride and a win from getting back to the state semifinals for the first time since 2011.
“It’s the whole team. My offense is why we win,” said Alonzo, who is a major reason that 19-4 Mechanicville will play Saturday at 5 p.m. at SUNY-Potsdam against Section X champ Ogdensburg Free Academy.
Alonzo became Mechanicville’s pitcher as a sophomore in 2012. She wants to experience pitching with a chance to win a state title.
“I want that title. But it’s a team thing, I can’t do it without my offense,” she said. “One through nine, we can hit. People underestimate that.”
“She’s carried a lot on her shoulders this year,” said Mechanicville coach Don Arceneaux, “Last year, she had the girls she’d been playing with her whole life — Kylie Liberty and Ali Ford. They had been playing together forever.
“This year, she’s the leader. They’re her children. She’s taken an active leadership role and done a great job with it.”
“The past two years, being the starting pitcher when we didn’t win [sectionals], I think it’s helping now,” Alonzo said. “I came in scared before. I was nervous. But from doing that, now I don’t go into a game nervous.”
Thursday was another example of Alonzo at her most efficient.
Saranac’s only run came in the second inning, and none of the three hits the Lady Chiefs managed left the infield. Saranac scored when a pitch got past catcher Kali DeMarco with the bases loaded.
The one-run deficit seemed to energize Mechanicville.
“It didn’t have that intensity that the last three games had,” said DeMarco. “I went out to ‘Kir’ and told her we had to make the intensity happen, because it just wasn’t there.
“It’s finals week, and we’re involved in that. Maybe that was part of it.”
Mechanicville’s five-run inning began when sophomore Haley Rivers, the No. 9 hitter, drew a walk. Jamie Frosell hit a one-out single, and Rivers went to third on Erin Maloney’s fly ball.
Saranac nearly prevented the sleeping giant from awakening, but the Lady Chiefs misplayed a Kim Thompson ground ball. The momentum of the game completely changed when Rivers crossed home plate with the tying run.
DeMarco followed with an RBI single, Amanda Kenyon reached on another Saranac error and her older sister, Kaile, lashed a two-run single to left field to make it 4-1. Amanda Kenyon scored the fifth run when she stole third base and was awarded home on interference.
“They kind of handed it to us,” Arceneaux said, referring to the Saranac misplays in the inning. “I think we were a little flat offensively, but I can’t complain about how we play. We just have to move forward. A lot of teams aren’t playing anymore.”
He was happy that third baseman Kaile Kenyon came up with a big hit.
“She was getting tied up a lot,” he said of recent games. “She can hit. It’s that she’s not getting her pitches, or some pitchers just aren’t a good matchup.”
“When I went up to bat, the coaches kept telling me to get my hands through. I just kept thinking about that every at bat. I finally got it,” the elder Kenyon sister said,
“Yesterday, Don was firing fastballs at us in batting practice because that was what the scouting report on their pitcher was. Once we adjusted we were on her. We just had to be smart.”
Alonzo permitted just one baserunner after her teammates got her the lead.
“Kir pitched well. A lot of the balls they did hit just died in the dirt in the infield,” Kenyon said.
Troy also advanced to the regional finals, using a five-run seventh inning to beat Secxtion VII’s Peru in a Class A contest played at SUNY-Plattsburgh.
Jess Marsh’s home run got 22-1 Troy going in the seventh.
Kaitlin DelSignore (triple, double, three RBI) and Lexi Lewis (two singles, two RBI) were the other hitting stars for 22-1 Troy, which will play Saturday at 4:30 at Malta Rec against Oneida.
MECHANICVILLE 6, SARANAC 1
Saranac 001 000 0 — 1 5 3
Mechanicville 005 001 x — 6 7 0
Trimm and Campbell; Alonzo and DeMarco.
TROY 7, PERU 1
Troy 001 100 5 — 7 12 2
Peru 001 000 0 — 1 6 1
Levesque, Bowen (7) and Hallett; Meehan and Miner.