North Collins softball team ousted in state semifinals

Photo by Jon Feniello North Collins pitcher Rebecca Cyrek delivers during her team’s Class D state semifinal against Deposit on Saturday.

GLENS FALLS — The North Collins Lady Eagles’ fabulous softball season came to an end in the Class D state semifinal game at Moreau Recreational Center on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles lost 5-0 to the Deposit Lumberjacks, the two-time defending state champions and the current No. 1-ranked team in New York state.

North Collins had some opportunities to score, with their best chance coming in the first inning. Rebecca Cyrek and Brianna Krawczyk each led off with singles before Morgan Mathis came through with a single. Despite three hits, Deposit pitcher MaKenzie Stiles was able to force two groundouts back to her. Her defense also threw out a runner at home to end the inning.

“We had some opportunities early,” said North Collins coach Jan Warren. “We needed to do better at situational hitting to get the runs across while we had the chance. There are not many opportunities that you have against their pitcher so it is tough to lose that chance as she shut us down afterwards.”

Deposit was able to take advantage of a mistake by North Collins to score two runs in the third. After a single to start the rally, No. 3 hitter Bryn Martin hit a foul pop up that was dropped by the North Collins infield. On the next pitch, she blasted a two run home run over the fence in left center field.

“They have a good hitting team,” Warren said. “Five of their girls have over a 500 batting average. If you give them extra chances, they will make you pay and they did that to us.”

After Stiles faced the minimum number of batters in the second, third and fourth innings, Rebecca Holmes finally got on base for the Lady Eagles with a single in the fifth. After Bella Williams bunted to get her to second base, North Collins flew out to the shallow outfield to end the inning.

Deposit would add three insurance runs in the fifth. After two walks, Bryn Martin followed with an RBI single. Older sister Kyra Martin then added another run with a sacrifice fly before Stiles helped herself with an RBI single to push the lead to five for the Lumberjacks.

The Eagles would not go down without a challenge, though, as they put together a miniature rally in the seventh. After Morgan Mathis walked, Holmes came through with a single, but Stiles closed the door with a strikeout to end the game.

“We came here with high hopes this year and it wasn’t our day,” Warren stated. “We couldn’t get that timely hit today. We put forth our best effort, but that was not good enough for the outcome. They are number one for a reason and they consistently showed that today.”

Deposit pitcher Stiles, who averages 14 strikeouts a game and who is going to pitch at the University of Pittsburgh next year on a scholarship, tossed a complete game shutout, surrendering only six hits and one walk while recording 10 strikeouts.

Cyrek pitched six innings for the Eagles, giving up five runs (three earned) on 11 hits while striking out three.

North Collins had multiple hit games from Cyrek and Holmes while Bryn Martin led the Lumberjacks with three hits, although their entire lineup made contributions.

North Collins’ season ends in the same place that it did last year, although this group of girls accomplished something that has never been done before and they did it in consecutive years.

“It was a great year to be able to come back and do this again,” Warren stated. “This is the first time that this was accomplished at our school and I am proud of these girls for achieving our goal even though we came up just short. I want to thank the seniors for what they have done as they are a great reason to why we are here although I am looking forward to working with the new group next year.”

Alexa English, Cyrek, Krawczyk and Mathis played their last games for North Collins.