Thursday features all four state regional semifinal games. I’ll be covering the two games at Rhinebeck High School (Rye Neck, Clarkstown South), and Nancy Haggerty will be covering the Tuckahoe game at North Rockland High School. We will track the result of Pearl River’s game and add it.
Class AA state regional semifinal: Clarkstown South vs. Kingston (Section 9)
Overall record: 20-2 (both losses are by one run: Valley Central, 1-0; Newburgh Free Academy, 4-3)
Mutual opponents: 2-0 (Ketcham, John Jay-East Fishkill)
Winning streak: 16
Top players: Olivia Lattin, Sr., 3B/SS/P (team-highs 6 HR, 29 R, .414; 19-1, 0.87 ERA, 137.1 IP, 164 K); Annie Cooney, Sr., OF/2B (3 HR, 22 RBI, .299); Sarah Baganz, Sr., 2B/3B/SS (29 R, .352).
Thursday will be a meeting between two long overdue teams. Kingston won its first title in 27 years, while Clarkstown South won its first title, ever. Neither team will have the upper hand in terms of postseason experience.
Both teams haven’t lost since the beginning of the season, so team chemistry is likely at an all-time high for both. Based off of its season stats, Kingston heavily relies on the pitching of Virginia Tech-bound Lattin more than its offense. The Tigers have only allowed 34 runs this season, which works out to fewer than two runs per game.
Kingston is unbeaten on the road and at neutral sites this year, winning all 10 games played. Clarkstown South’s only loss of the season came to North Rockland at home in the second game of the season; since then, the Vikings have been unstoppable.
I think Vikings senior Briana Keaveney will hold her own against Kingston’s lineup in the circle, and will contribute in the heart of Clarkstown South’s lineup. The Vikings are so deep on offense that I think they’ll eventually get to Kingston.
The Tigers have allowed more than three runs in only two games this season. Clarsktown South should be able to score more than that, but even if the Vikings manage to only push across two or three runs, it should still be enough for Keaveney.
Here are some articles on Kingston from area media:
Class A state regional semifinal: Pearl River vs. Goshen (Section 9)
Overall record: 14-8
Winning streak: 11
Top players: Jess Miller, So., 1B; Dionna Reynolds, Sr., P
In a way, the two are alike in that people probably didn’t expect them to make it this far. Pearl River was expected to have a rebuilding year, of sorts, but it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility that it would win it all. Goshen, on the other hand, started the season 0-7, so I doubt anyone was expecting it to be here.
Goshen won its first title since 2008, while the Pirates won their second consecutive section title and seventh since 2005. Pearl River, which made it to the state semifinals last year, has the experience over Goshen, while both share a level of motivation.
Goshen wasn’t even on the state’s radar (unranked in top 30) last week, while the Pirates came in at No. 7 overall. Ranks aside, Pearl River should be able to get by Goshen with relative ease.
Here’s an article on Goshen:
Times Herald-Record: Goshen wins section title
Class B state regional semifinal: Rye Neck vs. Marlboro (Section 9)
Overall record: 18-2
Top players: Taylor Felicello, So., OF/P; Cassie LaPointe, Jr., 3B; Amber Mianti, LF/SS; Ashley Votta, Jr., 2B/3B
One softball insider said that Pearl River, a Class A team, is a “carbon copy” of Marlboro, which is all I have to go on in regards to the Iron Dukes. Pearl River shut out Valhalla, which beat Rye Neck 18-1 earlier in the year. Then again, the reason the Panthers are here today is because they beat Valhalla (and handily), so by the “whom beat whom” theory, Rye Neck is every bit capable of beating Marlboro.
Here’s what Poughkeepsie Journal staff writer Phil Strum has to say on Marlboro: “Marlboro traditionally is the type of team that can hurt you in multiple ways. Marlboro only has one senior in its starting lineup, but several key starters like Ashley Votta and Amber Mianti are juniors in their third year on varsity who played big roles in 2013 when the team went to the Class B state title game. Battle tested. They can hit in all situations and are extremely deep including the bench. Coach Jennifer Veronesi (2004 Journal Player of the Year from Arlington) said Saturday this could be one of the best teams she’s had in her five years as head coach, including the year they went to the state final. Veronesi said their best win of the season this year was their non-league win against John Jay (EF).”
Here are our Poughkeepie Journal buddies with some info (and video) on Marlboro:
Class C state regional semifinal: Tuckahoe vs. Chester (Section 9)
Overall record: 16-1
Top players: Amanda Almodovar, Sr., OF; Stephanie Green, Jr., SS
Tuckahoe narrowly escaped the section final against Haldane, walking off in the bottom of the seventh. Now, the Tigers will go from top-seeded team trying to avoid the scare, to a team trying to scare off a top-ranked team. Chester, the No. 1 team in Class C by the state, enters the state regional semifinals after winning its second consecutive section title.
I really haven’t been able to find much on Chester, but as the top-ranked team in the state, that should be enough for folks to know that Tuckahoe will have its hands full Thursday.
Here’s an article on Pine Plains’ loss to Chester: