Whitehall sports round-up, June 17, 2021

Whitehall softball ends season 12-2

Whitehall’s Brooke Benjamin reaches first base in Saturday’s Class C sectional semifinal game against Lake George. (Photo by Jen Dickinson)

By Keith Harrington

A week after falling to Lake George 7-0 in the Adirondack League championship game, the Whitehall softball team was hoping to turn the tables on Saturday, June 12. It wasn’t meant to be, however, as the Warriors duplicated their previous effort and came away with a nearly identical 7-0 victory over the Railroaders in the Section II Class C semifinals on Whitehall’s home field.

Whitehall was hoping to get off to a fast start to build confidence after the previous loss to the Warriors, and the team almost did it.

In the bottom of the second Vinna Jensen and Braydee Benjamin singled to place runners on first and third. Jensen however was cut off at the plate on a throw from Makena Barber and tag out by Tyler Bergman to keep the game scoreless.

“We wanted to definitely get on the board first,” said Whitehall assistant coach Chris Bascue. “We had the play at the plate which was really close. Kudos to them, they’re a good hitting team and play defense.”

The Warriors took the lead in the third. Samantha Gorey walked and Rachel Jaeger singled. Gorey scored on a Whitehall error.

In the fourth Mattison Stark reached on an error and scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.

Shannon Starratt made it 3-0 Lake George when she blasted a home run over the center field fence.

Lake George put the capper on the contest in the seventh on a pair of RBI doubles by Starratt and Ali Zilm.

The Warriors’ defense was stellar the entire game, as it has been all season, but the fielding gem of the day came from Jaeger in the fourth. Whitehall was threatening with runners on first and second with one out. Jaeger fielded a sharp ground ball at short, tagged the runner going by her, then fired a throw to first to thwart the Railroader rally.

“I got the ball, and I knew I was, like, all right, I can tag her,” Jaeger explained. “And then I was thinking first base right after that.”

Lake George coach Kim Zilm praised Jaeger’s play, but also reiterated that she has many players who can make those kinds of plays.

“The play that Rachel made, any of the girls can make,” Zilm said. “I’m confident in any of them making it, so that’s really nice to have.”

Madeline Gorey had another strong outing in the pitching circle. She scattered six hits and struck out four in shutting out Whitehall for the second week in a row.

Starratt went 3 for 4 with a single, double, home run and three RBIs to pace the Lake George offensive attack.

“I think just drilling it in practice and starting off strong with those hits got the team thinking we can hit her,” Starratt said about facing Whitehall ace Madi Gould. “Having the energy and feeding off of each other.”

Jensen and Olivia Whiting had two hits each for Whitehall.

Gould pitched well for the Railroaders, striking out nine.

Lake George (13-2) moved on to face number-one Chatham in the sectional final on Tuesday. The importance of making it back to the title game after not having a season a year ago was not lost on Zilm.

“It feels amazing, of course. It feels awesome. They deserve it. They work hard. I know they are such a talented team.”

Whitehall ended the season 12-2.

On Thursday, Blake Bird broke open a 0-0 tie in the bottom of the six with a two-run single to right, and the number-two Railroaders went on to edge number-seven Stillwater 4-0 in the Section II Class C Quarterfinals.

When I asked Bird, the Whitehall first baseman, if she likes to talk before I interviewed her, Madi Gould laughed. Now I know why. Bird had a lot to say. Not only is Bird a strong hitter, she provides a great interview.

“It was an outside pitch. I was just thinking we’re in the sixth inning. Who cares? We have one more inning to hit. Sudden death. Let’s go,” Bird said after the game.

Gould and Stillwater’s Eden Resch hooked up in a pitcher’s duel for the first five innings. Gould was her usual dominant self, while the crafty Resch kept the Railroaders off balance by mixing speeds and utilizing a nasty change up.

In the sixth, Kyrie Smith reached on an error with two outs and Gould singled. A passed ball moved the runners over, then Bird lined a single to give Whitehall the 2-0 advantage. Next, Jensen singled and Brooke Benjamin singled to score pinch-runner Zoe Eggleston and Jensen.

Gould spun a one-hitter with 17 Ks, including striking out the first seven straight batters of the contest.

Jensen and Brooke Benjamin both finished 2 for 3. Gould, Braydee Benjamin and Bird were both 1 for 3.

Marley Mueller doubled for the Warriors.

Bird knows exactly the formula that is needed if the Railroaders are to advance to the championship game.

“We need to keep our heads in the game for sure,” Bird said about Saturday’s game. “We have to stay strong and play the game that I know that we can play.”

Whitehall was 12-1 after the win. Stillwater ends the season 8-6.

With only two seniors on the squad, Bascue is looking forward to more great things for the Railroaders.

“Our future is bright. These girls have been playing together for quite some time. Our modified has 18 kids, so the future of Whitehall softball is moving forward,” Bascue concluded.

Whitehall track and field solid at meet in Hoosic

By Keith Harrington

The Whitehall track and field team had a solid showing at the Section II Group 5 meet held last week. The event was contested at Hoosic Valley High School. The Railroaders finished the meet with two champions and a pair of second-place finishers.

Whitehall’s girls placed seventh in the event. The Railroader boys finished eighth.

On the girls’ side, Zoe Eggleston was first in the pentathlon. Samantha Howland was second in the high jump. Riley West placed second in the long jump.

Howland also finished fourth in the 200-meter dash and triple jump, and fifth in the 100-meter hurdles. West was ninth in the 200 meters.

West was ninth and Amelia Lyng 13th in the 100-meter dash.

The Railroaders’ team of West, Lyng, Julia Arquette and Morgan Austin placed 10th in the 4×100 relay.

Arquette was 14th in the 400 meters. She also was ninth in the triple jump.

Chloe Rehm was eighth in the discus throw and 13th in the shot put.

For the Railroader boys, David Austin won the championship in the pentathlon.

Chris Bakemeier and Jake Huntington were 14th and 17th in the 100-meter dash. Huntington was ninth in the 200 meters, while Bakemeier was 12th.

Troy Austin was seventh in the 1600-meter run.

Jordan Gould and Brennan Card finished 10th and 11th in the 400-meter dash.

Troy Austin was seventh in the long jump. Allen Beaulieu finished 13th.

Gould placed ninth in the triple jump. Bakemeier was 13th.

Huntington finished 18th in the discus throw. Loui Pratt was 20th.

Whitehall ends season with 16-6 loss

The Whitehall baseball team has a conference on the mound during last Tuesday’s
sectional game against Hoosic Valley. (Photo by Jen Dickinson)

By Keith Harrington

The Whitehall baseball team saw its season come to an end last Tuesday, June 8, as it lost 16-6 on the road against Hoosic Valley in the Section II Class C Opening Round.

After trailing early, the Railroaders rallied to take the lead, only to see the Indians pull away with big second and third innings.

Hoosic Valley jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first inning. Whitehall came right back, putting a five spot of its own on the scoreboard in the top of the second to take a 5-4 lead.

The Indians imposed their will after that. Hoosic Valley scored four in the bottom of the second and three more in the third to establish an 11-5 advantage and never let the Railroaders back in the contest.

Hoosic Valley tacked on two more runs and three more in the sixth just for good measure.

Connor King earned the win on the mound for the Indians as he gave up just three hits and one run in four innings of work.

Henry Madigan was 4 for 5, with two doubles, and two RBIs for Hoosic Valley. Justin Maxon was 3 for 4, with a double and three RBIs.

Logan Reilly also doubled for the Indians.

Hoosic Valley, 8-4, 9-6 moved on to the quarterfinals with the win.

Whitehall ended the season 7-4, 7-4.