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Softball: Colonie defeats Shaker on special night

Crosstown rivals go under the lights to support Rivers Scholarship Fund

Colonie's Sam Blum slides safely into third base after hitting an RBI triple in the first inning of Wednesday night's Suburban Council game against crosstown rival Shaker.

Colonie's Sam Blum slides safely into third base after hitting an RBI triple in the first inning of Wednesday night's Suburban Council game against crosstown rival Shaker. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— The annual Colonie-Shaker softball game took on a different aura Wednesday night.

The crosstown rivalry game -- which Colonie won 13-0 -- was played under portable lights at Colonie Central High School, and $850 in proceeds raised through donations, concession stand sales and the 50-50 drawing went to the Deanna Rivers Scholarship Fund at Shenendehowa.

Colonie coach Kevin Jette pitched the idea of playing under the lights to Shaker coach Caroline Kurkowski in December shortly after Rivers -- a softball player -- was killed in an automobile accident on the Northway that also claimed the life of Shen student Christopher Stewart and injured Shen student Matt Hardy and Shaker student Bailey Wind.

"We wanted to acknowledge it because a number of our girls played with Deanna in summer ball," said Jette.

"A lot of these girls know each other, and they knew Deanna," said Kurkowski.

The players got a kick out of having their one regular season meeting played under the lights.

"It was really different," said Colonie centerfielder Samantha Blum, who had three hits and three RBI in the game. "It was actually really fun, though."

"It really united us because we were all playing for Deanna tonight," said Shaker second baseman Chelsea Elliott. "Playing under the lights is always a very good thing."

Elliott got the first of three Shaker hits off Colonie pitcher Kelly Lane with a first inning single, but Lane quickly assumed control of the game from there. The senior retired the next 14 batters in a row and finished with 17 strikeouts.

"I knew I had to come back from that first inning and make the necessary adjustments," said Lane, who has three no-hitters and three one-hitters to her credit this season.

Colonie's offense staked Lane to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. An RBI double by first baseman Marisa Sholtes got things going. A Kassidy Ogren RBI ground out and an RBI triple by Blum added to the Garnet Raiders' advantage.

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