MOREAU — Any thought that this might be a rebuilding year for the South Glens Falls softball team was put to rest long before Wednesday’s game.
Despite fielding an overall young ballclub, the Bulldogs are off to an 11-0 start and are ranked No. 2 in the state in Class A.
However, on Wednesday at Moreau Rec, South High had to scratch out a 2-0 Foothills Council victory over Glens Falls between raindrops, as the Bulldogs were held to four hits by Glens Falls’ Emma Chrzanowski.
“Every time we lose a big batch or lose a pitcher (to graduation), everybody’s like, ‘Oh, this is it, can they reload it?’” said longtime coach Laurie Ciuffetelli, whose Bulldogs are 9-0 in the league and start only two seniors this season. “But I’m happy with how we’re playing.”
First-year varsity pitcher Hannah Breen, a sophomore, scattered five hits with six strikeouts and no walks as she shut out the Indians, who fell to 6-3 in the league, 12-4 overall. Backed by a solid defense, she weathered a second straight day of rain. South High had rallied past Schuylerville in a steady rain Tuesday.
“They make the plays,” Breen said of her defense. “Defense wins games and we’re really good at defense. Today was better, it wasn’t raining as hard.”
Other than the scattered hits — Glens Falls’ Lexi Cutter went 3 for 3 at the plate — Breen was in control of her pitches.
“She’s doing good — the rain is a little tough, but other than that, her pitches are working great and she throws a lot of heat,” sophomore catcher Demi Kellogg said. “She did the best she could — her pitches were working good today.”
“She’s a really good listener, she does not get flustered,” Ciuffetelli said. “She works really hard at what she has to do, she works hard in practice and summers, she wants the spot and she’s really earned it.”
The Bulldogs committed one error — a dropped pop-up in short right-center that second baseman Courtney Robarge still recovered for an out at second. Senior center fielder Kasen Lemay robbed Glens Falls’ Felicity Williams of a first-inning home run with a catch at the fence.
“We had a few chances,” Indians coach Craig Archambault said. “We couldn’t get those two hits in a row to put pressure on them, but I was happy with the way we played.”
South High scored both runs in the second inning. Lemay led off with a base hit up the middle, Breen reached on a booted grounder. After a sac bunt, Lemay scored on Zoe Lanfear’s RBI groundout, then Breen followed on another error.
It was the only two runs South High needed, as the Bulldogs allowed only two Glens Falls runners to advance past first base.
“They’re super nice kids, there’s no egos, they’re so supportive of each other,” Ciuffetelli said. “I had a great group last year, too, but they came in and didn’t worry about being young, they just play.”
Chrzanowski, a senior, scattered four hits and retired the Bulldogs in order three times.
“The other girl did a good job of moving the ball off, so we didn’t hit as well,” Ciuffetelli said. “We hit some hard shots but right at them.”
“Emma kept her pitches down — our strength is our infield, so keeping it down gives them a lot of chances at grounders,” Archambault said. “She did her job, that’s for sure. We’ve been playing great defense, our two pitchers (Chrzanowski and Mattie Benway) have been outstanding and we’ve been in every game.”
South High 2, Glens Falls 0
Glens Falls 000 000 0 — 0 5 2
South High 020 000 x — 2 4 1
WP — Hannah Breen. LP — Emma Chrzanowski.
Glens Falls highlights: Lexi Cutter 3-3.
South Glens Falls highlights: Kasen Lemay 2-3, 1 run, Hannah Breen 5-hitter, 6 Ks, 1 run.
Records: Glens Falls 6-3, 12-4. South Glens Falls 9-0, 11-0.