HIGHLAND – New Paltz softball fans have waited almost a decade since a New Paltz softball team won the Mid Hudson Athletic League (MHAL) championship, so what’s a couple of extra innings. That’s what it took, 47 years and 9 innings, for the Huguenots to come away with a 3-0 win and the championship trophy Monday night at Tony Williams Field in Highland.
“We weren’t supposed to win”, said star pitcher Jill Harrison, “we were supposed to be the young team that wasn’t supposed to do that”. Harrison was referring to the eight seniors who graduated from last year’s Sectional Championship team; another first in the history of New Paltz high school softball. This year’s team has just one senior, and five 9th graders. But that hasn’t stopped the Huguenots all year. After losing two games in the early part of the season, New Paltz rattled off 11 straight wins to get here. Ellenville was coming fresh off a doubleheader win and a victory over last year’s MHAL champions, Pine Plains.
After both teams won their respective semi final games earlier in the day, the two hot streaking teams squared off and played dead even for eight straight innings of scoreless ball. This game had everything; scoring threats, defensive gems, and two great pitching performances from both Harrison and Ellenville starter Teresa Baudendistel.
In fact, the only thing missing in this game was a base on balls. The pitching was just that good. And two incredible defensive grabs by Ellenville’s center fielder Erin Roosa and left fielder Guilia Ligotino were web gems that prevented New Paltz from scoring earlier in the game.
First year varsity head coach Brooke Frey summed up this defensive battle as a great game. “You couldn’t have asked for a better game. It was a pitcher’s duel completely the whole way, and a couple of great catches by Ellenville, and that’s what you want in a championship”.
New Paltz finally broke the ice in the top of the 9th when JoJo Tanzi hit a lead off stand up double off the center field fence. Kate Bennett got hit with a pitch, making it first and second with no outs. Veronica Hill followed with a base hit that drove in Tanzi from second. Later in the inning, with two outs, Paige Sarvis drilled a shot up the middle and two more runs scored to give New Paltz the cushion they needed.