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Thoughts, news and notes from the sports staff of The Saratogian newspaper, located in historic Saratoga Springs, New York. The gang in the corner office on Lake Avenue give you the post-game wrap-ups, news and notes from the games we cover and opinions about the sports we read about every day.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Section II softball playoff dates rescheduled

I'll update this list as I find out new info.

All quarterfinal games scheduled for Friday were rescheduled for May 28. Here are the Saratoga County area squads in action:
Monday, May 27
Class C
No. 9 Voorheesville at No. 1 Mechanicville, noon

Tuesday May 28
Class AA
No. 8 Schenectady at No. 9 Shen, 4:30 p.m.
No. 10 Ballston Spa  at No. 2 Colonie, 4:30 p.m.
Class A
Mohonasen at South Glens Falls, 4:30 p.m.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake at Averill Park, 4:30 p.m.
Class C
Lake George at Greenwich, 4:30 p.m.
Waterford-Halfmoon at Duanesburg, 4:30 p.m.

That means semifinals will be played Wednesday with finals on Friday.
Wednesday, May 29
Class AA at Veeder Park 4 p.m.
Class C at Veeder Park 4 p.m.
Class A at Moreau Rec, 4 p.m.

Friday, May 31
Class A and Class D at Moreau Rec 5, 7 p.m.
Class AA, Class B, Class C at Clifton Common 5, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Section II Lacrosse Update: Weather, Bracket Chaos Reign Supreme


Chaos has reigned supreme so far in the Section II lacrosse tournaments. The thunderstorms that introduced themselves to the area earlier this week wreaked havoc on the schedule, especially Wednesday, when all three girls finals at UAlbany were postponed.

Here, now, is a quick analysis of the six brackets, three for each gender.


Class A: This is about the most normalized bracket you could have imagined. The lone upset came when No. 9 La Salle topped No. 8 Columbia in a play-in game, we haven't had any weather issues to speak of, and we're left with the top four seeds contesting the two semifinals on Thursday. Shen hosts Guilderland in the 1-4 game, while CBA welcomes Shaker in the 2-3.

Class B: Weather forced audibles in two quarterfinal games. BH-BL had to wait until Wednesday to play the final minutes of their 11-4 win over Queensbury, while Scotia and Albany Academy saw their entire game pushed back 24 hours. Meanwhile, juggernaut Niskayuna looked flat-out unbeatable in their first playoff game against Troy. The Silver Warriors scored 29 goals, 18 in the first quarter, and have not been beaten this year. The winner of Thursday's Ballston Spa-Burnt Hills game likely has a huge task on their hands Saturday at UAlbany in the final.

Class C: Glens Falls rolled Lansingburgh in their 1-4 semifinal, and Schuylerville is heavily favored in theirs this evening against a Cambridge team they beat twice this year. That would set up a rematch of Schuylerville's lone Class C loss all year, a one-goal defeat at the hands of the Indians late in the year that cost them the No. 1 seed.


Class A: Guilderland has looked every bit the part of the No. 1 seed this year, and they'll battle another very strong A team in Shaker, one that demolished No. 3 Shenendehowa in their semifinal round. These two teams have built up quite a rivalry, and the vibe after Shaker's semifinal win was that this game was going to come down to the final minutes and whoever made more plays.

Class B: Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake beat perennial powerhouse Niskayuna in one of the best high school games I've seen all year. Now, they get Queensbury, who they were tied with late in their season opener before yielding five consecutive goals to end the game. Coach Jake McHerron has said his squad is a much better unit than they were that night at Union College, so this should be a fun game to watch Thursday.

Class C: Albany Academy has been rolling all season long. Their losses have come to bigger schools, and in the one I was in attendance for (against Shen), the Bears kept the game close with pressure defense. At this level, their offense can be very potent. They go up against Emma Willard, who sprung an upset over Glens Falls on the road in their semifinal and are, to an extent, playing with house money at this point.

I'll definitely be at the BH-BL/Queensbury girls game, which at this point is still set for 5:30 p.m. at UAlbany. Additionally, I'll definitely be at the Class B boys final Saturday, and will be at the A and/or C finals if Shen and/or Schuylerville win their semifinal games. You can follow me on Twitter for all the latest updates from those games at @AndrewChampagne.

Monday, May 20, 2013

2013 Section II softball playoff brackets (all classes)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Can Burnt Hills and Saratoga Springs play softball more often?

Saratoga Springs' Sydney Vishneowski
Sometimes evenly matched teams bring out the best in each other. That may be the case for Saratoga Springs and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake  after the Suburban Council rivals played two of the most exciting softball games in Section II this season.
Both games went extra innings, both games featured clutch hitting from and — in each case — the home team rallied from one run down in the final inning to win the game.
Here's the full story from the first game, a 3-2 Blue Streaks win that went eight innings.
Kristi Burgess had the winning hit in that one. Here's the box score from that contest:

BH-BL   000 010 01  —  2-10-1
Saratoga 010 000 02  —  3-6-2
Erica Varsames (W) and Sara Willner-Giwerc; Ashley Agan (L) and Meg Heck.
2B: Bailey Motala (SS), Megan Cullen (BH), Kristen Parker (BH).
Records: BH-BL 1-1, 1-1; Saratoga Springs 1-2, 1-3.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 3B Courtney Haff (left)
The second game between the teams featured a similar narrative, but with the result switched. This time Saratoga Springs tied the game late, then took the lead on Madison Livingston's RBI-hit in the top of the 10th. However, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake rallied to tie before Courtney Haff delivered a walk-off hit for a 5-4 victory.

Here's the box score from the second game:

Saratoga 000 020 1 001 — 4 8 1
BH - BL 201 000 0 002 — 5 9 2
Kristi Burgess (L) and Sara Willner-Giwerc; Emily Rutkey, Ashley Agan (W-6) and Meg Heck.

Because Saratoga Springs is Class AA and BH-BL is Class A, the teams can't meet in sectionals, but if they did, past results suggest it would be to to see.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Section II baseball standings

Below are the standings for the 2013 Section II high school baseball season as of May 5.