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Valhalla Stopped in State Softball Semifinals

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. – Valhalla experienced what many of Mynderse Academy’s softball opponents encountered – a solid hitting team.

The Section 5 champions came out hitting against the Vikings and it carried the Blue Devils to a 6-3 win in a New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B Softball semifinal on Saturday at the Adirondack Sports Complex.

Mynderse Academy, which lost to Chatham (Section 2), 4-3 in the championship, banged out 12 hits. The Blue Devils (22-3) blitzed Valhalla with three runs in the first inning and two more in the second.

“One through nine they put the ball in play,” Valhalla coach John Hayes said. “We hit, but we just didn’t hit enough. They outhit us.”

Even though Mynderse Academy scored three runs in the bottom of the third, Valhalla answered back with three in the top of the second to even the score. Consecutive doubles by Danielle Maffei and Jenna Saldi brought Maffei home. Maddy DeMilio tied the score at 3-3 with a two-run single, scoring Saldi and Sydney Holtz.

The three runs gave Valhalla a lift. However, whatever momentum the Vikings may have seized was immediately lost in the bottom of the second inning. Sydney Rogers singled in Meghan Tuttle, who led off with a walk. Abby Dygert followed and dropped a fly ball just over first base and inside the right-field line and Allie Deal’s dribbler went for a hit and loaded the bases. Valhalla third baseman Alyssa Lombardo turned an unassisted double play, but Rogers scored the second run of the inning.

“We’re aggressive in our approach,” Mynderse Academy coach Stephanie Bertino said. “We hit from top to bottom, look to put the ball in play and score a lot of runs.”

Valhalla learned its opponent can also play defense, as well.

Brandi Coon led off the third inning with a long fly ball to straight-away center field. It appeared to be leaving the yard, but Blue Devil centerfielder Allie Deal made the catch at the fence, then fell over it.

“That was a big momentum shift because if we scored that run, then it’s 5-4 and a different game,” Hayes said.

DeMilio concluded her career with three hits and two RBI. Jade Fumarelli had two hits and also threw out Jessica Parish trying to stretch a single into a double in the third inning and Maffei had two hits and scored a run.

“This was a great experience for the girls, our school and our community,” Hayes said. “This was a big step for our program. And for the seniors, it was great that they had the opportunity to be playing on the last day of the season.”

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