Defeats Hamilton to advance in state tournament
By Skip Pearlman
Maybe it was because it was prom night. Maybe it was the fact that they went as “overwhelming favorites.” Or maybe it was the sweet smell of summer in the air.
Whatever it was, the Blue Devils of Haldane High School clearly didn’t feel like they played their best game in the Section 1, Class C championship game on May 31 at North Rockland High School — despite the fact that they won, 20-7, over Hamilton, earning their sixth title since 2011.
“Everyone left early to get their hair done,” Coach Nick Lisikatos said. “We weren’t focused, and we did not play a good game. I’m happy for the girls, but we took a step back with our performance.
“The prom was part of it,” Lisikatos added. “We’re all juniors and younger, so we did just enough to get out of here.”
The top-seeded Blue Devils reached the championship game by defeating No. 4 Keio Academy, 19-0, on May 30. Junior Shianne Twoguns struck out 12 in that game and did not allow a base runner.
Haldane (14-3) was scheduled to face Section 9 champ Pine Plains (15-6) in the regional tournament on Thursday (June 6), again at North Rockland High School. The winner advances to a state semifinal. As of June 3, Haldane was ranked eighth in the state in Class C by the New York State Sportswriters Association, while Pine Plains was fifth.
The Blue Devils were down 3-0 before they came to bat against Hamilton (14-6) but quickly evened the score in the bottom of the inning. They then put the game away in the bottom of the second, scoring eight times, thanks to three bases-loaded walks, an error and a two-run single by Athena Stebe Glorious.
Bela Monteleone had a big game for Haldane, driving in four runs with a two-run double and a two-run triple, the latter making it a 14-3 game in the third inning, and Abigail Platt ended the game at first with an exclamation point, snagging a line-drive and doubling up a runner for a slick, game-ending double-play.
Lisikatos said his team wants more.
“Every year our goal is the state championship,” he said. “Do we have that kind of team? I have no idea. But if we can put a couple games together, we can find ourselves playing up north [in the final four]. Do I think we can do that? Yes, I do, but we’ll have to play better.”
Photos by S. Pearlman