COLONIE: Can't catch a break

How tough is the Suburban Council softball league?

The Colonie Lady Raiders have been playing well throughout the regular season, and they are barely going to qualify for the Section II, Class AA playoffs.

With Monday's 1-0 loss to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Colonie's league record dropped to 7-6. Fortunately for the Lady Raiders (11-8 overall), the seven league wins assures them of no worse than a .500 record the qualifying mark for Sectionals.

We get good pitching, and we get great defense," said Colonie coach Chris Robilotti. "Sometimes the other team pitches great, and our offense can't help us."

"Colonie is the best 7-6 team I've ever seen," said Dan D'Amboise, whose first-place Shenendehowa softball team needed a late rally to defeat Colonie 5-3 last Wednesday. "I don't know where all of their losses have piled up because they have a good team."

Most of those losses haven't been by much. Monday's setback against Burnt Hills was Colonie's fifth one-run loss of the season. Two of the Lady Raiders' other three losses have been by two runs.

"They've all been tough games," said Robilotti. "It seems like everybody in the Suburban Council has a good team."

Some might be quick to point out Colonie's youth (more than half the roster is made up of juniors) as a possible reason for the Lady Raiders' struggles in close games, but Robilotti is not one of them.

"I knew we had a lot of juniors, but I never approached the season as a rebuilding year," he said. "I think our close games prove that we are a competitive team."

Colonie closes out its Suburban Council season Thursday against crosstown rival Shaker, which is coming off a 5-1 victory over Niskayuna Monday that raised its league record to 10-2.""

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