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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Shenendehowa Softball Team Aims to Complete Unresolved Matters in Schools


CLIFTON PARK — Natalia Colone, a Shenendehowa softball‍ player, vividly recalls the rollercoaster of emotions she and her teammates‍ went through during their time at the NYSPHSAA softball championships on Long Island⁢ last season.

From hitting a solo home run in the Class AA semifinals to scoring the game-winning run⁤ on a walk-off‌ sacrifice fly by Morgan Smith, these are moments that Colone will cherish for a lifetime.

Despite​ the Plainsmen’s heartbreaking 1-0 loss after ‍11 innings in ‍the state championship game, Colone was optimistic about the upcoming season⁢ and the chance to ​create more unforgettable memories with her team.

“Every day,” Colone said when ‌asked how often she dreams about returning to the state ⁣championship. “I am determined to go back. That’s my primary goal, especially as a ⁣senior.”

“Last year was an incredible experience, and most of ‌the girls on the current team were with us,” she added. “We’re still trying to maintain ⁢the‍ momentum⁤ from then.”

Shenendehowa started the season ⁣strong, going undefeated in April. However, they⁤ faced a determined Guilderland team in May, which proved to be a challenge.

In the ⁤May 1 Suburban Council match, Guilderland scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth,⁤ securing an 8-5 victory and handing Shenendehowa its first loss⁤ of⁢ the season.

“After going 13-0, and then losing to Guilderland, I‌ think our coach was disappointed,” said ​Shenendehowa ⁤pitcher Bre Hayes. “We really started to refocus on having good at-bats, our pitch selection‌ and our approach ​in⁢ the‌ box.”

The following week, Shenendehowa experienced another ​setback when it lost its⁣ senior‍ night game under the lights to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 3-2.

“I think they’ve done‌ a good job of keeping ⁣things‍ in perspective,” Shenendehowa⁣ coach‌ Chris Farquharson ⁣said of the two losses. “Guilderland is a ⁢very good ‍hitting, well-coached team,​ and the same with Burnt Hills. The girls took it ⁢in stride. They knew it‌ was the regular season, they’ve been in⁣ sectionals before and we ⁢kind of reminded them of that.”

On Wednesday, the Plainsmen⁣ found themselves in another tight game, this time ​in a scoreless ​pitcher’s duel between Hayes and Ballston Spa’s Hadley Donnelly.

Shenendehowa managed to score a ⁤run ⁢late in the ‍game, thanks to ‌a double from Ella Kean in the bottom​ of ⁣the sixth. Pinch runner Izzy Mueller was able to score on a fielding ​error by Ballston Spa, on ‍a ball put in play by Colonie.

“We had Bre in the⁤ circle, and we knew she was going to keep us in‌ it,” Farquharson ⁤said. “We were just ⁤trying to put ‍the ball in play. It was a ​tough day, with the wind blowing really hard, and we just wanted ​to make them make‍ plays. That ‌was our mentality⁢ every inning.”

Hayes ⁣then⁣ returned to the ⁣circle to secure the 1-0 victory,⁣ while ⁣also completing a no-hitter. The senior right-hander struck out 13 Scottie hitters, allowing just one runner to reach base on a hit-by-pitch.

“Bre⁤ was phenomenal today,” Colone said⁣ of Hayes’ performance. ‌“She did an outstanding job and was ⁢hitting⁣ all of her spots. She didn’t give them⁢ anything to‍ hit and we had her back ‌behind her.”

“She was pitching really ⁢well,⁤ hitting her spots and had great movement on her pitches, and she’s very humble,” Farquharson added.⁣ “She has that very mellow key, and I might get more worked up sometimes than she does. She’s ⁢able to keep it very even-keeled, ‍as a solid pitcher⁤ should‍ do.”

Shenendehowa, which is ⁤15-2 overall this season, is on ⁤track to take the No. 1 seed in‍ Section 2’s Class AAA bracket this year.

With the tournament set to begin ⁢next week, Hayes ⁤and Colone are looking to finish⁤ the job they started last season.

“We think about ‌it a lot. I‍ have high hopes of us getting to make it back there,” Hayes ⁣said of getting back to states. “The season‍ went really‍ fast. The fact‍ that this is our last week of regular season games is crazy.”

“Just being able to be down there in the hotel with ​everyone, we‌ were spending so much quality ​time with each other — more than what we would do‍ in a normal season,”⁤ Colone⁣ added of her ⁤team’s experience last year. “I just ⁣think ⁣we​ created a stronger bond together, especially ⁢with all of the new girls, and I think that’s carried into this year.”

Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan, an informed and passionate sports reporter, is a former college athlete with a degree in Sports Communication from Ithaca College. Go Bombers!
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  1. Good punctuation and grammar, I agree. Let’s support the Shenendehowa Softball Team in their mission to address unresolved matters in schools.


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