One hit enough to beat Guilderland softball team 1-0

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Kicking up dirt while throwing a pitch for Guilderland is Taylor Tewksbury on Monday during a home game against Columbia. The Dutch (3-2) lost the game, 1 to 0; Tewksbury gave up a lead-off home run to Samara Perry in the top of the first inning. Tewksbury pitched five innings, and struck out seven batters.

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

What’s the outlook? Torie Rathwell takes a practice swing for Guilderland in the fourth inning of Monday’s 1-to-0 home loss to Columbia. Rathwell came in to pitch in the sixth inning, and got a lead-off hit in the seventh inning before the Dutch loaded the bases, but Guilderland couldn’t score.

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Sliding in safely to third base is a base runner from Columbia on Monday as Guilderland’s Doris Kane hovers over the bag. The Blue Devils won, 1 to 0.

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Pow wow: Players and coaches of the Guilderland softball team convene after Torie Rathwell, middle, got the Dutch out of a jam in the seventh inning with three straight strikeouts. However, Guilderland lost the game to Columbia, 1 to 0.   

GUILDERLAND — Columbia’s Samara Perry hit a home run over the left-field wall off of Guilderland’s Taylor Tewksbury to start Monday’s softball game. That one run was all that the Blue Devils needed to beat the defending Class AA champions on the road.

“We got the timely hit,” said Columbia Head Coach Chris Cicceone after the 1-to-0 win. “Guilderland put pressure on us, but we held on.”

Dutch Head Coach Lou Marino had hoped that Guilderland would respond to Perry’s home run — it had seven innings to do so — but the team got only two hits, and struck out nine times. Doris Kane and Stephanie LeClair both went down swinging to end the game with the bases loaded in the final inning.

“We were flat,” Marino said. “It’s early in the season; we don’t do that later in the season. Usually, we respond, so I’m not worried about it because that’s our M.O. We work out the kinks for sectionals, and we perform.”

On Monday, Columbia looked to pad its lead in the top of the seventh inning after Katy Kennedy hit a lead-off double and Nia Moore walked, but Guilderland’s Torie Rathwell got three straight Blue Devils’ batters to strike out, ending the threat.

Guilderland took the momentum into the bottom of the seventh inning, said Rathwell, who delivered with a single to right field. However, the Dutch couldn’t muster another hit off of Maddie Burns, who pitched a great game for Columbia while being backed by a strong defense.

“We couldn’t get a hold of her,” Rathwell said of Burns; the two players were teammates on a travel team. “She’s good competition, very good.”

Marino told The Enterprise that Guilderland (3-2) can’t win if it doesn’t hit the softball. In two previous wins, the Dutch had 16 hits against Burnt Hills and 13 hits against Niskayuna.

“We have to put the ball in play, and make them [Columbia] make a play on it,” said Marino of having the bases loaded in the seventh inning on Monday. “If you hit a ground ball, they have to throw home, and maybe they bobble the ball or make an overthrow, and then you have a tie game.”

In all three of Guilderland’s wins, “we hit the crap out of the ball,” Marino said, so, having lifeless bats on Monday was the difference for the Dutch. Columbia didn’t do much better with four total hits, but it had the one that counted.

“It wasn’t that bad; we were all very into the game, upbeat, and cheering along,” Rathwell said about the stresses of being down just one run for so long. “We had the intensity, and we played hard, but things just didn’t go for us today.”

Coach Cicceone was very pleased to be walking away from Guilderland with a win, and he said that a 1-to-0 final score is very reflective of what the Suburban Council is when it comes to competition. In this early season, he’s been seeing a lot of high run totals, which is unusual.

Based on what Marino has witnessed so far, he says that the Suburban Council doesn’t have any dominant pitchers this year.

“It’s wide open,” he said. “We’ll be ready at the end.”

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