Whitehall, 16-1, in softball semi-finals
By Keith Harrington
Confidence and momentum play a significant role in the success of a sports team and at the high school level these elements are even more important. The Whitehall softball team is exhibiting a heavy dose of both this season, something maybe they needed a little bit more of a year ago.
The Railroaders opened Section II Class C tournament play last week and cruised past a pair of opponents to earn a spot in the playoff semifinals. Second-seed Whitehall moves on to face third-seed Greenwich with the championship game on the line.
On Wednesday Whitehall took a 2-0 lead after two innings, then swung their bats into high gear in the fourth and fifth as they finished off Canajoharie, 12-0, in five innings in a Class C opening round game.
The Railroaders scored a run in the first and another in the second, then exploded for five runs each in both the fourth and fifth to send the Cougars home.
Madi Gould fired a 3-hitter with 12 strikeouts for Whitehall. Gould helped herself at the plate by going 2 for 3 with a pair of singles and two RBIs.
Ava Ruby also had a strong game at the plate, going 3 for 4 with three singles and four RBIs. Olivia Whiting smacked a pair of doubles.
Caitlyn Baker doubled for Canajoharie. Megan Blakeslee and Andrea Bowerman singled.
Whitehall improved to 15-1 on the season.
In the quarterfinals on Friday, Whitehall jumped to an early lead and pulled away as they advanced to the Class C softball semifinals with an 8-0 win over seven-seed Stillwater. The Railroaders meet Greenwich in the semifinals Tuesday at Moreau Rec at 5 p.m.
The Railroaders batted around and scored three runs in the bottom of the first to set the stage for what was to come.
Whitehall added three runs in the fourth for a 6-0 lead, then finished off the Warriors with two more in the fifth.
Gould tossed a 3-hitter with 13 strikeouts for Whitehall.
Blake Bird led Whitehall at the plate, going 3 for 4 with three singles. Gould was 2 for 4. Vinna Jensen was also 2 for 4. Ruby doubled and drove in three runs.
Whitehall is now 16-1 on the season.