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Saratoga Vs. BHBL

Varsity vs Burnt Hills Ballston Lake HS on 4/27/2011 4:15:00 PM
Posted Thursday, April 28, 2011 by Micheal Kelly (Saratogian)

SARATOGA SPRINGS — After threatening and failing to score in the third and fourth innings, the Saratoga Springs softball team finally broke through in its fifth frame. With two outs and runners at first and second base, Sydney Vishneowski lined a RBI-single to centerfield off Burnt Hills’ Courtney Haff, scoring Colette Carlson.

“Sydney comes through; she always wants to be the one to do that,” said Laura Cuthbertson, the Blue Streaks’ coach. “She did a great job today.”

The lone score was the only run needed on Wednesday for the Blue Streaks, who defeated Burnt Hills, 1-0, behind a sparkling pitching performance from senior Emily Fleming. The right-hander went the distance and struck out six Spartans.

“She wanted it today,” Cuthbertson said of her pitcher. “She really brought some fire and that was great.”

Burnt Hills (2-6, 1-6 Suburban Council) was not without chances. The Spartans had Fleming on the ropes in the third inning after a pair of leadoff singles, but then the Blue Streaks’ (3-5, 3-5) defense came to the rescue.

First, Burnt Hills’ Meghan McKeown lined what should have been a single to leftfield; instead, Saratoga Springs left fielder Morgan Rumpf fielded the liner on a hop and fired a strike to third base to record your standard 7-5 fielder’s choice.

Then, Burnt Hills’ Kristen Parker (1-for-2, walk) blasted a single to rightfield. But a perfect relay from right fielder Krystal Kosh to first baseman Jeanine Rodriguez to catcher Meagan Fleming — the pitcher’s twin sister — was in time to get Burnt Hills’ Megan Heck at the plate.

“That was huge,” said Allison Bernardi, Burnt Hills’ coach. “Unfortunately, my runners weren’t prepared to move on and I’m not quite sure why. We need to work on that.”

Emily Fleming then got Burnt Hills catcher Zoe Dubois to ground out to finish the inning.

The senior hurler had a simple philosophy — more of a wish, really — once her bases were occupied with Spartans.

“Please don’t score! Please don’t score! Please don’t score!” she said. “But, no, really, I just try to forget about it. I can’t think about that.”

Instead, she said, she focused on throwing strikes and letting her defense come to her aid.

“I’m very proud of everybody out on the field,” said Fleming. “We worked it out.”

Burnt Hills was not alone in missing out on chances to score, as the Blue Streaks were foiled in the two innings prior to Vishneowski’s game-winning RBI. Saratoga Springs loaded the bases in the third inning with no outs, but Spartans sophomore starter Emily Rutkey buckled down to record three straights outs. The next inning was more of the same, as Rutkey won a bases-loaded, two-out battle against Blue Streaks leadoff hitter Makaylee Dowd (1-for-4) to end another threat.

Burnt Hills freshman Courtney Haff relieved Rutkey after that inning and took the loss for the Spartans.

“We have a very young team and I thought we played great defensively,” Bernardi said. “I thought we played competitively.”

Both teams play today, Thursday, with Saratoga Springs traveling to take on Shenendehowa, while Burnt Hills will play host to Bethlehem.

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