Amsterdam’s Megan Lamont, left, slides safely into home plate as Schuylerville catcher Caitlin Kelleher scrambles for a loose ball during Monday’s game at Shuttleworth Park. (Adam Shinder/Recorder staff)
By ADAM SHINDER
When Amsterdam High School softball coach Brenden Cetnar got the phone call late Wednesday morning from Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Swab, the Foothills Council representative on the Section II Softball Committee, Cetnar was prepared for the worst.
Amsterdam finished the regular season 6-8 in league play, one game away from a .500 record and automatic sectional qualification. Cetnar had to petition the committee for a spot in the Section II Class A tournament that he believed the Lady Rams deserved, but was bracing himself for bad news.
When Swab finally delivered the news, Cetnar was smiling. His petition was successful, and the Lady Rams (9-11, 6-8 Foothills) had been granted a spot in the playoffs. They’ll be in action today as the No. 10 seed, on the road for a first-round game against seventh-seeded Queensbury, with the winner earning a quarterfinal date Monday at No. 2 seed Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.
“I thought it was gonna be bad news, but apparently we did well enough to get ourselves in — or talk ourselves in, anyway,” Cetnar said.
The game is a rematch of one of Amsterdam’s most impressive performances of the season, a 9-2 win over the Spartans back on April 26 at Shuttleworth Park. On that day, Emma Patrei pitched a complete game seven-hitter and the Lady Rams got two hits each from Gianna Quatrini, Megan Lamont, Michaela Kelly and Morgan Durinick to pick up the win.
With the confidence from that win, the Lady Rams won’t be entering the tournament intimidated of their first-round opponent.
“The girls, when I let them know, their confidence was really high,” Cetnar said. “That has been our downfall in a lot of games, (a lack of) confidence, and knowing we beat them once is going to help us. We’re not going to be too overconfident, but we’re confident enough to know we can win.”
Though the Lady Rams finished one game short of automatic qualification, Cetnar felt his team was competitive against most of the top teams in the Foothills Council and is wholly deserving of a spot in the bracket.
“They deserve to keep going. They’ve played tight games against some really good teams,” he said. “With the work we’ve put in and the overtime, the girls staying late after practices and wanting to do more and more, they deserve that shot. I think we should be able to make a little noise during this tournament.
Amsterdam was one of just five area softball teams to make the leap to sectional play. Also heading into the postseason are three local Class C squads — Canajoharie, Galway and Mayfield — along with Fort Plain in Class D. Broadalbin-Perth, Fonda-Fultonville and Johnstown in Class B, along with Gloversville in Class A, will not play in the postseason.
Fort Plain was the lone area team to earn a home game. The fourth-seeded Lady Hilltoppers will open play in the eight-team Class D bracket Monday at 4:30 p.m. when they host a quarterfinal game against No. 5 New Lebanon. The winner will advance to the semifinals May 24 at Moreau Rec in South Glens Falls against either No. 1 seed Salem or No. 8 Heatly.
All three Class C teams will be on the road today at 4:30 p.m. for first-round games. Tenth-seeded Canajoharie will visit No. 7 Hoosic Valley, No. 12 Mayfield will face No. 5 Warrensburg and No. 14 Galway will face No. 3 Mechanicville. Quarterfinals will be held Monday and will be hosted by the better seed in each matchup.
Championship games will be played May 26, with the Class AA, A and B games at the Luther Forest Athletic Fields in Malta and the Class C and D finals at Moreau Rec.