No boues for Lady Dutch after quarter final loss to Queensbury

GUILDERLAND — A fast start wasn’t enough for the Guilderland softball team on Friday.

The Lady Dutch scored five runs in the first inning, but Queensbury roared back to score 10 unanswered runs to win, 10-5, the Class AA Section II quarterfinal contest at the Lisha Kill Sports Complex in Colonie.

“We started off strong,” said Guilderland Coach Jen Ficarra. “The last game we started with three runs and jumped out early. It’s good to get on top early.”

The Lady Dutch came into the tournament as the 12th seed and then beat fifth-seeded Bethlehem, 5-2, last week.

On Friday, Queensbury scored one run in the second inning and then scored seven in the fourth and two more in the fifth to accumulate its 10 runs.

The Spartans swung the bats well in the fourth inning and also took advantage of two Dutch miscues in the frame.

“It’s tough when you are making errors,” Ficarra said. “We started to get down and they had the momentum. It’s hard to come back from that.”

After the five-run first inning, the Lady Dutch struggled at the plate against Queensbury relief pitcher Andrea Ogden. Guilderland had just one hit after the first inning.

Fast start

In the first inning, the Lady Dutch hitters worked five walks and had three hits to score their five runs.

Deb Schildt led off the frame with a walk and Lauren Napoli also reached first base on a walk. Eighth-grader Taylor Ten Eyck hit an infield single that loaded the bases with no outs.

Senior Sara Heller then singled to drive in Schildt but, as Napoli tried to score from second, she was thrown out at the plate.

With runners on second and third, Michelle Giwerc walked to load the bases and Kristina Marilla drew a walk that allowed Ten Eyck to score. Marissa Valletta then drew a walk to drive in Heller and make the score 3-0.

Cori Hilt then singled to drive in Giwerc and Marilla, giving the Lady Dutch a five-run lead.

“They pulled together”

Hilt started the game in the pitcher’s circle and pitched well. It was the second sectional start for the young pitcher.

“I brought up a junior varsity pitcher,” Ficarra said of Hilt. “She also pitched the last game. She did an outstanding job. The ball was hit to places that you can’t defend.”

Hilt pitched four innings and Schildt pitched the final two for the Lady Dutch.

Hilt pitched a complete game last Wednesday against Bethlehem in the first round of sectionals.

She did give up nine hits, but Bethlehem could not scratch more than two runs across the plate in the game.

Heller and Giwerc each had a hit to drive in two runs to help the Lady Dutch pull off the upset.

“They pulled together,” Ficarra said of her team. “It’s great for the seniors to get to the second round of sectionals. It’s also great for the younger girls. They have experience and that raises the expectations for the future.”

The Guilderland squad has just three seniors — Heller, Giwerc, and Nikki Marcucci. Heller will play college softball at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute next spring.

“Those are huge holes to fill,” Ficarra said. “The younger girls are looking promising.”

Ficarra said that the younger players found out what to expect in sectionals, which will make them better.

“It’s hard to explain what sectionals are like,” Ficarra said. “You can’t describe it to the girls until they’re there. We got a good win in a sectional game. We upset the number-five team.”

And most of players are coming back to build off the momentum the Dutch got from playing in this year’s sectionals.

“We’ll have two pitchers back and the JV had a good season,” Ficarra said. “Every year there are tryouts and we pick the best kids.

“It’s nice,” Ficarra added. “I finally got a team where everybody wants to win and they play for each other. We struggled with that earlier in the year. The girls wanted to win today [Friday] for each other and they wanted to win for the seniors.”

The Lady Dutch accomplished their main goal for the season as Ficarra continues to rebuild the softball program from the doldrums it was in when she started. Guilderland finished the season with a 16-10 record.

“The goal was to get a sectional win,” the coach said. “We got it. We want to keep going a little higher. We’ve come a long way from 0-14.”

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