CLIFTON PARK: Cruising to the finals

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Shenendehowa softball teams turned in impressive semifinal performances Tuesday at the Section II tournament at Clifton Common.

Shen shut out Queensbury 5-0 to advance to Friday's class AA championship game, while BH-BL outhit Ichabod Crane 17-1 on its way to a 9-0 victory in the class A playoffs.

Shen and Queensbury were locked in a pitcher's duel until the top of the fourth inning, when the Plainswomen (21-1) struck for four runs. Kayla Hines and Lauren Lawler each had RBI singles in the inning, and Amanda Ferro added a two-run single to cap the rally.

The run support was more than enough for Angie Sagnelli and K.C. Levin. Sagnelli held Queensbury in check through the first five innings to pick up the win, and Levin added two scoreless innings of relief.

Shen meets Colonie in Friday's class AA final at Clifton Common. Colonie, which knocked off Big 10 champion Troy in last Thursday's quarterfinals, rallied for a 7-4 win against crosstown rival Shaker in Tuesday's other semifinal contest.

In class A, BH-BL advanced to its first championship game since losing to Mohonasen in 2004 in style. Freshman pitcher Emily Ostrom allowed only a two-out single to Ichabod Crane's Kolbi Smith in the fifth inning and struck out 18 to lead the Lady Spartans (19-5) to Friday's final against top-seeded South Glens Falls.

Amanda Vandenburgh homered for the second consecutive game and added a double to lead BH-BL's 17-hit attack. Ostrom helped her own cause with a double and a single, and Leanne Merchant added three hits.

All Sectional finals take place Friday at 5 p.m. at Clifton Common."

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