SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — One streak had to give Thursday afternoon in a pivotal Suburban Council softball matchup between first-place Colonie and second-place Saratoga Springs.
The Raiders entered the game winners of nine straight, roaring to the top of the league. But they were tasked with traveling to Saratoga, where the Blue Streaks had won six straight home tilts.
Behind some early offense and a brilliant pitching performance, Colonie managed to eek out a 2-0 victory, extending its’ win streak to 10 games, and growing its’ first-place margin to two-and-a-half games.
Thursday’s showing embodied the main characteristic head coach Sean Merchant tried to instill in his team this year.
“Toughness, right?” said Merchant. “I mean, that was something that we said first game of the year. “Tougher team’s gonna win,” ’cause in this league, anybody can win; everybody’s right in the middle of the pack. So, toughest team’s gonna win, and I think we’re hitting that part of our season for sure.”
Colonie did exactly what good road teams do, and that’s put early pressure on its’ opponent. The Raiders scored two runs in the top of the first inning on back-to-back RBI doubles from second baseman Gabby Baumann and extra player/relief pitcher Adrianna Laraway.
That was all the run support the Colonie pitching staff needed. Junior Lauren Cosselman got the nod in the circle, tossing five shutout innings, while allowing just three hits, and striking out three.
Laraway came on in relief for a six-out save. She got in a bit of a jam in the seventh inning, as a hit batsman and double put the tying run in scoring position for the Blue Streaks. But the sophomore buckled down, and recorded the final two outs herself on a comebacker to the circle and a putout on a pop fly, shutting the door on Saratoga.
In the heat of such a tight race in the Suburban Council, Laraway recognized the magnitude of the win as it pertains to seeding come sectionals time.
“Home-field advantage, as much as it might not seem like a great thing, it really is,” said Laraway. “This win for us is huge, because them (Saratoga) coming off a sectional win (last year), they were definitely fighting us for the one-seed, and our undefeated title as well.”
Colonie (13-1, 10-0) returns home for its’ next game Friday against Shaker at 4:15 p.m.. Saratoga Springs (11-3, 7-2) will have a chance to rebound at home Friday, welcoming in Shenendehowa. First pitch against the Plainsmen is set for 4:15 p.m.