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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: August 2008

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Run for the ROC Sept. 14

The fourth annual Saratoga Hospital/Hudson River Community Credit Union Run for the ROC (Radiation Oncology Center) will be held at 11 a.m. Sept. 14 at the Saratoga Race Course.

A separate “Lil Derby” event for children will begin at 10:15 a.m. with registration beginning at 9 a.m. Prizes and awards will be given to the top three male and female runners, as well as the top male and female in each age group.
The adult entry fee is $15 if registered prior to Sept. 5 and $20 after, including day of race registration. There is no charge to participate in the children’s dash.
To register on-line go to www.active.com or click here.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hannah's Hope golf tournament Sept. 9

The Hannah's Hope Golf Tournament will be held Sept. 9 at the Edison Club to benefit 4-year-old Rexford child, Hannah Sames.

The youngster was recently diagnosed with Giant Axonal Neuropathy, a rare genetic disorder that causes progressive, irreversible damage to nerve cells and is known to be fatal.

Registration and lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. with a 1 p.m. shotgun start. Cocktails and a silent auction will be held at 6 p.m. with dinner and a live auction set at 7 p.m.

The round of golf includes a 1 million dollar hole-in-one contest and a closest to the pin contest.

The event is a four-person scramble with each player using at least two tee shots and a maximum of two putts on each green to speed up play.

Cost is $150 per person/$600 per team and guests are invited to the dinner event, $5. Sponsorship opportunities are still available also.

To sign-up visit www.hannahshopefund.org or click here.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Tour "LaFrance" 5k run/walk Sept. 21

The first annual Tour “LaFrance” 5k run/walk in memory of Connor LaFrance will be held 11 a.m. Sept. 21 beginning at the Orenda Pavillion in the Saratoga Spa State Park. Proceeds will benefit the Connor LaFrance Scholarship Fund.

Race day registration is $30 per individual, $80 per family and a Giffy’s B-B-Q lunch will be offered after the 5k for adults, $10, and kids, $6 with entertainment by McCrell and Friends.

Print out a registration form at www.connorlafrance.org or click here.

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Kickin' it with the Knights of Columbus Sept. 20

The Clifton Park Knights of Columbus are sponsoring a youth soccer challenge competition from 9:30 a.m. to noon Sept. 20 at the Clifton Park Soccer Club on the Clifton Common.

This is a fun, free, quick event for all ages where soccer players shoot towards a soccer goal marked into quadrants with the highest scores advancing.

All boys and girls ages 10-14 are invited to participate in the local level of competition.

The Knights of Columbus Soccer Challenge is sponsored annually, rain or shine, with winners progressing through local, district, regional and state competition.
All boys and girls 10-14 years old, as of September 1, 2008 are eligible to participate and will compete in respective age divisions. All contestants on the local level are recognized for their participation in the event.

The soccer event is free and all participants are required to provide proof of age and written parental consent at registration.

Registration forms are available here, at town hall, or at the field on the day of competition. For additional information, contact Rich Gallego at 383-2892.

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Many happy returns for volleyball stars

Shen boys volleyball to host bottle drive Sept. 6
The Shenendehowa boys volleyball squad is getting a jump on their returns...at least bottle returns with a bottle drive.

The squad will host a bottle return drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 6 on the Shen campus.

The team is accepting all bottles and cans with a refundable deposit with all the proceeds to benefit the Shen Volleyball Booster Club.

For more information, contact Mary Anne Cureau at 383-4853 or e-mail pmrcureau@aol.com.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's hockey time too!

Just as fall sports practices are underway at the varsity and junior varsity level, it's also time for players to start gearing up for ice hockey.

I know it's still hot out, but just as thoroughbreds have a birthday of January 1 each year, hockey players must register annually with USA Hockey after Aug. 31 of each year.

Players under 18 years of age can have a parent register them (that will help with the $30 fee on-line too!) here.

Also you will probably need to fill out the USA Hockey forms for your home organization to have on file. Saratoga Youth Hockey has then available here.

Here are a couple of links for the local youth hockey associations including: Saratoga Youth Hockey, Clifton Park Youth Hockey, Capital Youth Hockey and Schenectady Youth Hockey.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

MAR - Final: Kingsbridge tops Niskayuna, 9-1


Knights tops in Mid-Atlantic Regional

CLIFTON PARK – Kingsbridge Knight manager Michael Navarro told his team parents that if they won two games at the Cal Ripken Baseball 11-year-old Mid-Atlantic Regional that would be good.

Now he’s got to eat his words as his Knights posted another perfect record, 6-0, and captured the highest honor in the Babe Ruth Baseball League for this age group, a Mid-Atlantic Regional title with a convincing 9-1 win over Niskayuna at the Clifton Common Baseball Complex.

“All the teams here are champions,” Navarro said after being doused with ice water, ice, Gatorade and anything else his jubilant players and parents could find. “Everyone came through at different moments and everyone contributed at the right time.”

Kingbridge continued to assault the scoreboard for the sixth consecutive game, hitting three home runs and actually hitting the scoreboard above the 200-foot mark of the center field fence on its way to making history for the organization.

“This is the first team in 62 years to win a Mid-Atlantic Regional,” Navarro said.
Besides the offensive prowess the Knights showed throughout the weekend series, the squad rode the arm of hurler Adam de la Cruz who pitched a five-hit, one run complete game victory.

“My plan was to finish the whole game,” de la Cruz said. “This was my first time in a Cal Ripken Mid-Atlantic Regional. It was an honor to pitch the last game.”

Despite his lack of experience, de la Cruz provided a valuable lesson to the Niskayuna squad.

“Our team learned that the quality of pitching improves as we went through the tournament,” Niskayuna coach Tom Spataro said. “We faced a pitcher today that had three pitches and threw all of them well.”

The right-handed fire baller struck out 11 and walked only one batter.
“They kept missing my curveball and the fastball,” de la Cruz said. “They weren’t staying back when I threw it (curveball) and if they stayed back too much I threw my fastball right down the pipe.”

After two short rain delays, the Knights brought back the thunder and the lightning, but in their own way.

Henry Miller led off with a double to centerfield and was plated at the expense of Niskayuna starter Adam Gleason. Drew Semler drilled a liner back through the box and off Gleason's right thigh. The ball bounced past the second baseman and into right field for a 1-0 lead.

Gleason remained in the game, giving up a hit and a walk to load the bases, but escaped without any further damage to himself or his Warriors.

The Kingbridge power station was on line again in the second inning as Miller and Semler both left the yard.

Miller sent a Gleason pitch over the right field fence with Sammy Zambrano on first after a one-out single. Semler followed and the drinks are on him as he jettisoned new reliever, Brian Toys's pitch high over the center field wall, hitting the Pepsi scoreboard for a 4-0 lead.

De la Cruz made the most of his base on balls, moving around on a walk to Randy Taveras and scoring on an RBI single by Justin Juarbe for the 5-0 lead.

Niskayuna got on the board in the top of the third after Jessie Darsinos led off with a single and moved over on a passed ball. He went to third on a groundout and scored on Tom Spataro's single to left. He was thrown out at second, attempting to stretch it into a double.

Kingsbridge tacked on another run and threatened for more in the fourth inning after Semler led off with a hit by pitch, moved over on a wild pitch and moved to third on a Lenny Ortiz single. He was plated on an RBI single by Tavares for the 6-1 lead.
The Knights had the bases loaded, but Niskayuna ended the threat with a double play from first to home on a grounder.

Hitting can be contagious and that was evident when Jack Stein came off the bench, once again in a pinch-hitter role, just as he has all tournament-long and put the exclamation point on the Knights win.

With an 0-2 count, Stein sent the Rawling prize over the right field wall and into the parking lot for a 7-1 lead. The rest was academic after Semler walked and home run derby winner de la Cruz sent a rocket over the center field fence for a 9-1 lead.

“It wasn’t that hard,” Stein said about his second home run of the summer. “I kept my eye on the pitch, swung hard and got a home run.”

The round-tripper wasn’t a foregone conclusion for the pinch-hitter.

“It felt good,” Stein said. “I had a feeling that the outfielder was going to reach over the fence and rob it.”

Both squads plan on returning to the Mid-Atlantic Regional, a year older and with a Cal Ripken World Series berth on the line.

“Our team learned that they didn’t like watching the other team get the trophy,” Spataro said. “They all said ‘That’ll be us next year.’”

The Warriors may have to battle the Knights again next year, a challenge they are willing to take on.

“We need to stay much hungrier,” Navarro said. “Next year they’ll be coming for us and we hope to be here again.”

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MAR - Semi: Niskayuna wins over Spring-Ford, 8-7

Niskayuna proves it belongs
Advances to 11-year-old Mid-Atlantic finale

CLIFTON PARK – Niskayuna coach Tom Spataro never doubted his team’s potential heading into the Cal Ripken Baseball 11-year-old Mid-Atlantic Regional in Clifton Park this week and on Tuesday afternoon, his Warriors didn’t let him down.

Niskayuna's Connor Hagan hit a game-winning fielder's choice in the bottom of the sixth inning, allowing Garrett Whitley to beat a spinning tag by the Northwestern Pennsylvania champion, Spring-Ford catcher, for the 8-7 win and a spot in the championship game.

“Last year as 10-year-olds we went to states and built on that,” Spataro said.
Niskayuna earned a spot in the Mid-Atlantic Regional as the Eastern New York State consolation final winner, with Clifton Park and Wilton advancing as the area champion and runner-ups.

The Warriors (5-0) never felt like a second-class team.

“We never looked at it as if we snuck in,” Spataro said. “We played Clifton Park to a 1-0 loss and won with a win over the Clifton Park 2 team. I never thought any lesser of our players.”

After four lead changes, the final local squad was left with its final at-bats in the semifinal versus Spring-Ford.

Whitley reached on a lead-off walk and moved to second on a passed ball. Lee Esposito followed with a single to left center. Hagan hit a grounder to third as Whitley broke from the bag and beat the throw home for the semifinal winning run.
“I had no idea where the ball was hit,” Whitley said about racing home and then re-touching the plate after the play. “We had a play in states where that happened. Now coach tells us to go back and touch the plate.”

The contest saw three different players hit home runs, adding more drama to the series of ties.

Whitley connected on a Matt Daywalt pitch, driving in Tom Favata, knotting the game at seven apiece in the top of the fourth inning before showing patience at the plate late in the game.

“My dad says that a walk is as good as a single,” Whitley said. “A lot of the pitches were outside, not even close.”

It was the four consecutive contest that Niskayuna came from behind for the win.
The Warriors were down, 4-0, to Southeast Pennsylvania champion, Warrington before winning, 7-4. They were down, 6-1, to Delaware champion, Bear, and came out ahead, 10-8 and down 3-0 to Southern New Jersey champion, Sacred Heart, before scoring 10 straight runs for the win.

“We bunt, we run and have a couple of kids that can pop the ball out,” Spataro said. “We’ve been lucky that when they have hit home runs we’ve had kids on base.”
Spring-Ford took its second lead of the contest in the top of the fourth, again on a home run.

Zack Zoller reached with a one-out single and Kevin Shields drilled a Tom Favata offering over the center field fence for a 7-5 lead.

Spring-Ford tied the contest earlier, for the second time, 5-5, in the top of the third when Matt Daywalt led off with a single, advancing to second on the left fielder's error. Justin Siejk singled him over and Matt Yost drove him in with a single through the left side.

Niskayuna pulled ahead, 5-4 in the bottom half of the second as Matt Spataro was hit by a pitch and stole second. He advanced on Whitley's single and Esposito's single RBI single.

Spring-Ford tied the game at four apiece in the top of the second inning after Matt Mesaros led off with a double. He moved over on a groundout, scoring on a passed ball.

Niskayuna rebounded from a disastrous first inning, taking the lead, 4-3, on four hits.

Tom Spataro started it off, reaching on a bunt and moved over on Tom Favata's single. Both runners moved into scoring position on a groundout and Spataro scored on Connor Hagan's fielder's choice. Favata scored on Brian Toy's double off the right field fence. Hagan tied the contest at three when he stole home. Toy put the Warriors ahead, 4-3, scoring on Jesse Darsinos’ single past the third baseman.

The afternoon had a rough start for Niskayuna pitcher Adam Gleason, hitting Spring-Ford batter Zach Zoller and walking Kevin shields before giving up a three-run home run to Zachary Smiley that sailed over the center field fence giving the Northwest Pennsylvania champion a 3-0 lead.

Niskayuna utilized three pitchers in the semifinal, Gleason, Favata and Toy, still leaving the Warriors with enough arms for the scheduled final against the Metro New York champion, Kingsbridge.

“We haven’t ridden one kid all tournament,” Spataro said. “We stick to that formula.”

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Monday, August 11, 2008

MAR - Semi: Kingsbridge 5, Sacred Heart 3

Avenge last year's Mid-Atlantic Regional loss

CLIFTON PARK - Metro New York champion, Kingsbridge, has made a statement with its batting prowess throughout pool play of the Cal Ripken Baseball 11-year-old Mid-Atlantic Regional.

In Monday morning's semifinal against Southern New Jersey champion, Sacred Heart, the Knights showed that they had the arms and the defense to advance to the tournament final with a 5-3 win over the Angels.

Kingsbridge (5-0) didn't surprise anyone at the Clifton Common Baseball Complex Monday morning, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first.

Home run derby champion, Adam de la Cruz hit a two-out double to left field and came around to score when Lenny Ortiz hit a hard grounder to second that was mis-handled, allowing him to reach safely and de la Cruz to score. Co-captain Randy Taveras followed with an RBI double down the left field line putting the Knights ahead, 2-0. After stealing third, Taveras was plated on Justin Juarbe's RBI single to center field for the 3-0 lead.

"I guess you can say I'm seeing the ball well," de la Cruz said. "But I have to thank all my coaches for helping with my game. Eric, Lenny, Raymond and Michael all help me and the team."

After a 1-2-3 inning to start the contest, Sacred Heart began to work its way through the Kingsbridge rotation in the second inning.

Knight's starter, co-captain Drew Semler was lifted after walking Tim Zeng to start the second. Tyler Lindsey was summoned from the dugout to replace his starter. He struggled against the Sacred Heart line-up with little time to warm-up, walking Ryan Voelker before enticing Kurt Elmer to line out to the shortstop. After walking Angel's birthday boy, Brett Hoffman, to load the bases, Jonathan Benitez came to the mound as the third arm for the Knights in less than two innings. He got out of the inning quickly with a force at second and quick throw to first for an inning-ending double play.

Sacred Heart starter Kurt Elmer found ways to keep Kingsbridge off balance after his first inning of work, keeping the contest close for his Angels squad.

Sacred Heart (3-2) got to Benitez in the third after Josh Morgan walked and moved to third on Jordan McCrum's double over the left fielder's head. Drew Tumbelty gave the Angels its first run with an RBI single, blooped over the second base bag. Sacred Heart was patient, with Tim Zeng and Voelker both walking to load the bases, but Benitez escaped with an inning-ending strikeout.

With the contest hanging in the balance, Kingsbridge tacked on two more runs in the fourth, started when Henry Miller reached on a fielding error by the third baseman. He moved over on Semler's groundout and scored on another double by de la Cruz, giving the Knights a 4-1 lead. Ortiz followed with his own RBI double down the left field line for the 5-1 lead.

Sacred Heart, familiar with Kingsbridge, meeting the squad last year in the 10-year-old Mid-Atlantic Regional, and weren't intimidated.

The Angels rallied for two runs in the fifth after McCrum led off with a walk and was driven in immediately on Tumbelty's triple to center. He ran his way back and forth off third base, drawing a throw on a pick-off attempt and scored when the catcher's throw sailed into left field, cutting the lead, 5-3.

Miller came on in relief for Benitez and closed out the semifinal, getting Tim Zeng to fly out to centerfield and after hitting Voelker, saw the contest end when Benitez corralled the fly ball for the second out and fired back to first for the game-ending double play.

"It was just instinct," Benitez said. "I'm taught to look at the base runner to see if he's off the base. I was just trying to get the ball in quick."

Miller scored the game-winning run and closed out the contest, advancing the Knights to today's first-ever Mid-Atlantic Regional championship final.

"It feels good to get on base with guys like Adam (de la Cruz) behind me," Miller said. "If I get on base, I'm pretty sure I'm going to score."

Like several of his pitching teammates, Monday's work was a surprise.

"I didn't know if I was going to pitch today," Miller said. "I just tried to throw hard. I want to get the first pitch over for a strike and get ahead in the count."

Despite utilizing four different arms on Monday, the Angels couldn't find that one pitcher to tee off on for the win.

"We hit their last two pitchers hard," Sacred Heart manager Rob Fernholz said. "Their center fielder makes an over-the-shoulder catch and their shortstop made two great plays late.

"Our boys played great all weekend long," Fernholz said. "I'm proud of them. They (Kingsbridge) scored 10 runs in almost every game and we held them to half that. Next year we'll go up to 50/70 and hopefully see them again."

The Knights earned more rest between contests as the second semifinal between Northwestern Pennsylvania champion, Spring-Ford and Eastern New York consolation winner, Niskayuna, was postponed until 10:30 this morning. The winner will face the Knights at 2 p.m.

Kingsbridge manager Michael Navarro wasn't nervous about his use of pitchers Monday morning.

"Tyler (Lindsey) is usually very good, but didn't have it today," Navarro said. "Jonathan Benitez came through big and Henry Miller took it home."

The Knights, who went 4-0 to capture the Metro New York championship, continue be a triple threat in the tournament with its hitting, pitching and defense.

"Our pitching has been superb and we haven't had an error all tournament," Navarro said. "Last year was tough, losing in the last inning. The boys wanted to win this game and play tomorrow for a championship."

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MAR - Monday's second contest postponed to Tues. a.m.

CLIFTON PARK - With lightning spotted in the distance several times before the 2 p.m. contest between Spring-Ford and Niskayuna for the Cal Ripken Baseball 11-year-old Mid-Atlantic Regional semifinal and a poor look on the radar, play was suspended for the day.

Monday's second contest was moved to a 10:30 a.m. start Tuesday morning with the championship contest moved to 2 p.m.

Metro New York champion, Kingsbridge Knights, defeated Southern New Jersey champion, Sacred Heart, 5-3, in the early contest Monday morning.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

MAR - Game 18: Niskayuna 10, Sacred Heart 3

CLIFTON PARK - Eastern New York State consolation winner Niskayuna proved to be the lone Eastern New York state competitor left in the Cal Ripken Baseball 11-year-old Middle Atlantic Regional tournament with a 4-0 record through pool play.

Niskayuna held a 2-1 lead before lighting was spotted in the distance and play was halted. A short time later, the rain came and soaked both fields at the Clifton Common Baseball Complex in Clifton Park.

After a 2 1/2-hour delay and the conclusion of the Clifton Park/Kingsbridge contest, play resumed on a different field and Niskayuna took over the contest.

Tacking on runs seemingly at will, the Silver Warriors put the contest out of reach when Brian Toy drilled a Sacred Heart offering over the center field wall for a commanding 10-3 lead.

Niskayuna (4-0) earned the No. 1 seed out of Pool B and will take on the Northwest Pennsylvania champion, Spring-Ford, at 2 p.m. Monday afternoon in the elimination semifinal.

Sacred Heart (3-1) was saddled with the loss, but remain alive in the Mid-Atlantic Regional, facing Pool A winner and Metro New York champion, Kingsbridge, noon Monday.

The Middle Atlantic Regional championship contest is scheduled for noon on Tuesday.

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MAR - Game 17: Kingsbridge 11, Clifton Park 7

CLIFTON PARK - The Metro New York champions, Kingsbridge, proved to be the top dog in Pool A of the Cal Ripken Baseball 11-year-old Middle Atlantic Tournament at the Clifton Common Baseball Complex with a 11-7 win over Eastern New York State champion, Clifton Park.

The contest saw five lead changes, including a 2 1/2-hour delay starting with lightning in the distance, followed by a downpour.

With the help of tournament staff along with coaches from Clifton Park, Spring-Ford and Wilton, play resumed with Clifton Park ahead, 7-5 before Kingsbridge rallied for six runs in the top of the fourth inning to move onto Monday's elimination semifinal as the No. 1 seed in Pool A.

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MAR - 2:45 p.m. Rain ending, games restart at 4:15 p.m.

CLIFTON PARK - The lightning and thunder has moved on and the rain has stopped (for the moment) and with the help of a slew of coaches from Clifton Park, Spring-Ford, Wilton jumped into action with the tournament volunteers to get Field 14 ready for play.

The current plan is to resume the Clifton Park/Kingsbridge game at 4:15 p.m. in the bottom of the fourth with Clifton Park ahead, 7-5.

When concluded, the Niskayuna/Sacred Heart contest will be resumed on the same field with Niskayuna ahead, 2-1, in the bottom of the third inning.

Then, approximately at 6 p.m. Wilton will face Spring-Ford at 6 p.m. on Field 14.

The Warrington vs. Ithaca finale contest is in limbo. Since neither team is involved in a spot in the semifinals they have been given the option of departing for home without any repercussions from Cal Ripken Baseball for not completing pool play.

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MAR - Game 16: Warrington 13, Bear All-Stars 3

CLIFTON PARK - The Southeast Pennsylvania champions, Warrington Mud Dogs, showed why they were undefeated in the state tournament, earning a five-inning "mercy rule" victory, 13-3, over Delaware state champion, Bear All-Stars.

Warrington rode the arm of starter Matt Radwanski, working four innings, allowing two runs and striking out six.

Mud Dog Jeff Carter went two-for-three with a double and an RBI single in the third.

Steven Trachtenberg ripped a two RBI triple in the bottom of the fourth to apply even more pressure on Bear and Chris DalFarra delivered the finishing blow, a two RBI single to right field, scoring Chris Trunk and Connor Kienzle for the 10-run difference.

Warrington is scheduled to face Western New York state champion, Ithaca, at 2:30 p.m. in the tournament pool play finale.

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MAR - Game 15: Spring-Ford 8, Manalapan 1

CLIFTON PARK - The Northwest Pennsylvania champion, Spring-Ford remained alive in the 11-year-old Middle Atlantic Regional at the Clifton Common Baseball Complex with an 8-1 win over Northern New Jersey champs, Manalapan Sunday morning.

Spring-Ford's Zack Zoller led off the contest with a home run, setting the stage for Spring-Ford, last year's Mid-Atlantic Regional Champs at the 10-year-old level.

Spring-Ford put the contest out of reach with five runs in the fourth inning for their second win of the tournament.

The NW Pennsylvania champs will look to earn their way in with a decisive win over Wilton in the afternoon along with needing help in the 11:30 a.m. contest between host Clifton Park and Metro New York champs, Kingsbridge.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

MAR - Cal Ripken 46/60 11 yo. standings Day Two

Standings through Day 2

        Pool A                          Pool B
Metro New York Kingsbridge 3-0(12)   Southern NJ Sacred Heart 3-0 (12)
Host team     Clifton Park 2-1 (12) ENY Runner-Up  Niskayuana  3-0 (17)
NY Pennsylvania Spring-Ford 1-1 (16)  SE Pennsylvania Warrington 0-2 (12)Northern NJ  Manalapan 1-2 (15)  Delaware Bear All-Stars     1-2 (20)Eastern NY    Wilton    0-3 (31)    Western NY  Ithaca     0-3 (31)
(Runs allowed)

Sunday - Third and final day of pool play.
Times changed due to rain in forecast, late afternoon. New times reflected.
  • 9 a.m. Manalapan vs. Spring-Ford (Field 14)
  • 9:30 a.m. Bear vs. Warrington (Field 11)
  • 11:30 a.m. Clifton Park vs. Kinsbridge (Field 14)
  • Noon Niskayuna vs. Sacred Heart (Field 11)
  • 2 p.m. Spring-Ford vs. Wilton (Field 14)
  • 2:30 p.m. Warrington vs. Ithaca (Field 11)

  • Saturday's results
  • 10 a.m. Manalapan 13, Wilton 2
  • 10:30 a.m. Bear 17, Ithaca 2
  • 12:30 p.m. Kingsbridge 11, Spring-Ford 10
  • 1 p.m. Sacred Heart 4, Warrington 2
  • 3 p.m. Clifton Park 5, Manalapan 2
  • 4:30 p.m. Niskayuna 10, Bear 8

    The fine print...tie-breakers for pool play standings

    Pool play standings will be determined as follows:
    1. WIN - LOSS RECORD

    If tied:
    2.
    HEAD-TO-HEAD COMPETITION
    In a two way tie for record, if one team has defeated the other, the tie is broken in favor of that team.

    2a.
    In a three (or more) team tie situation, the process would move to criteria #3 unless one team has beaten all of the other teams that it is tied with.

    Example #1:
    A three team tie exists between Delaware, Maryland and N. New Jersey with each recording 2-2 records. Delaware defeated both N. New Jersey and Maryland. N. New Jersey defeated Maryland. The three-way tie is broken at criteria #2 in favor of Delaware because they defeated both teams they were tied with for record. N. New Jersey would be seeded as the #2 team as a result of their head to head win versus Maryland.

    Example #2:
    A three way tie exists for record between Delaware, N. New Jersey and Maryland with each recording a 2-2 records. Delaware defeated N. New Jersey; N. New Jersey defeated Maryland and Maryland defeated Delaware. These three teams are still tied and the tie-breaking process will move on to Criteria #3 – Runs Allowed.

    3. RUNS ALLOWED
    In the event of a three way tie, all three teams shall complete criterion #3 to determine seeding. If, after completing criterion #3, the three way tie has been broken and a two way tie still remains (i.e. two teams gave up the same number of runs), the two teams remaining tied will revert back to criterion #2 (Head to Head) to break the two-way tie. If all three teams gave up a different number of runs, no tie exists and all teams shall be seeded at criterion #3. If all three teams gave up the same number of runs, proceed to criterion #4.

    4. RUN DIFFERENTIAL (WITH A MAXIMUM OF 10 PER GAME)
    Total runs scored minus total runs allowed is the team’s run differential.
    Example: PA has winning scores of 6-4, 12-0, and 7-3 and lost 8-4. Their run differential is 12. Note: Run differential in the 12-0 game is limited to 10.

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  • MAR - Game 14: Niskayuna 10, Bear 7

    CLIFTON PARK - Niskayuna came back from a sixth inning 8-7 deficit to Delaware champion, Bear All-Stars to secure their spot in Monday afternoon's semifinals with a 10-8 win Saturday afternoon.

    Niskayuna's Jesse Darsinos drilled a two-run double for the 9-8 lead and was followed by teammate Michael Gabriele with his own RBI two-bagger.

    Niskayuna (3-0) will face Southern New Jersey champion, Sacred Heart (3-0) Sunday afternoon as the top two squads in Pool B will battle for the top seed heading into Monday's semifinals.

    Southeast Pennsylvania champion, Warrington (0-2), Bear (1-2) and Western New York champion, Ithaca (0-3) cannot topple either team from the top two spots Sunday.

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    MAR - Game: 13 Clifton Park 5, Manalapan 2

    Clifton Park comeback win gives life for another day

    Clifton Park bounced back from a 2-1 deficit and a timely home run by Northern New Jersey champion to put it in a win and in position for today’s final round with a 5-2 win.

    After Manalapan’s Mike Marantz drilled a Pete Russo offering on a low line over the centerfield wall in the fourth inning, the Bulldogs responded with its own long distance dedication.

    Russo set the table, reaching on an infield single left of first base, beating out a diving first baseman who stretched out to attempt to tag the bag before he stomped his foot on the base.

    He moved to second on a groundout and had to strain his neck as he watched Justin Yurchak’s two-run home run sail high over the center field fence for a 3-2 lead.
    The home run was a rarity for the Bulldog slugger, one of only a handful of round-trippers this season for Yurchak.

    Russo went five innings, allowed two runs and walking two batters. He wasn’t placed on the mound to attempt to strike out the entire Manalapan squad.

    With just a tenuous one-run lead in the sixth, Manalapan took its chances, intentionally walking Yurchak to load the bases and get to Kolin Krebs.

    Krebs pounded the ball up the middle and saw it smothered by the Manalapan second baseman, but was unable to dig it out the ball from underneath himself and force out Yurchak at second. A quick thinking lead runner, Will LeRoy took advantage of the Manalapan miscue. As the second baseman and shortstop stood surprised by the safe call at second, LeRoy raced home for the 5-2 lead.

    Yurchak came on to pitch the bottom of the sixth giving up two singles, but securing the win striking out the side.

    The win gives Clifton Park a 2-1 pool play record heading into today’s finale against Metro New York champion, Kingsbridge, at 11:30 a.m. Both squads enter with a 2-1 record and the winner advancing to Monday’s semifinals.

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    MAR - Game 12: Sacred Heart 4, Warrington 2

    CLIFTON PARK - Southern New Jersey champion, Sacred Heart, took an early 3-0 lead in the third inning of Saturday's pool play contest against the Southeast Pennsylvania champion, Warrington and held off for its third win of the 11-year-old Cal Ripken Baseball 46/60 Mid-Atlantic Regional at the Clifton Common Baseball Complex in Clifton Park, NY.

    A sacrifice fly by Tim Zeng scored Connor Fernholz and a single up the middle scored Josh Morgan in the third. Ryan Voelker sent a fly ball to left, scoring Drew Tumbelty for the 3-0 lead.

    Warrington cut into the lead in the third when Chris Truck reached on an infield single and came around to score on Michael Kuypers' RBI double down the left field line, 3-1.

    Steven Tractenberg led off the fourth with a walk, moved over on a Chad Haegle sac bunt followed by a wild pitch and scored on a Bryan Meyers ground out to second, 3-2.

    Warrington threatened in the fifth, stranding Chris Trunk on third and Chris Dalfarra on second with only one out. The next batter popped out to the pitcher for the second out of the inning and the subsequent batter struck out.

    Sacred Heart tacked on a run in the top of the sixth by Vinnie Maiorino who led off with a walk. He moved over on Jack Pellock's single, Josh Morgan's fielder's choice and scored on Drew Tumbelty's grounder to second.

    With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, bad luck continued to follow Warrington when the squad became energized during it's own two-out rally. Bryan Meyers reached on a single to left field and Jeff Carter roped a double down the left field line, again putting runners in scoring position. Josh Brodie drilled a Sacred Heart offering as far as you can go and still stay in the ballpark, one-foot in front of the center field wall for the final out.

    Warrington has a doubleheader Sunday, taking on Manalapan at 9 a.m. and closing out the pool play segment against Western New York State champion, Ithaca at 2:30 p.m.

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    MAR - Game 11: Kingsbridge 11, Spring-Ford 10

    CLIFTON PARK - It was a slugfest between the Metro New York champions, the Kingsbridge Knights and the Northwest Pennsylvania champion, Spring-Ford Saturday afternoon with Kingsbridge coming out on top with a late rally.

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    MAR - Game 10: Bear All-Stars 17, Ithaca 2

    CLIFTON PARK - The Delaware champions, the Bear All-Stars pounded out 17 runs on 13 hits, routing Ithaca, 17-2, to even its record in pool play, 1-1, during the second day of play at the Cal Ripken Baseball 11-year-old 46/60 Mid-Atlantic Regional at the Clifton Common Baseball Complex in Clifton Park, New York.

    Bear sent 16 batters to the plate in the first inning, scoring 10 runs on just seven hits and an error.

    From there they were on cruise control, just waiting for the obligatory four runs to be completed under the 10-run "mercy rule" provision during pool play.

    Ithaca posted two runs in the bottom of the first inning, but Bear's Josh Willey belted a three-run home run in the fourth inning to give the Delaware champions 17-2 lead.

    Bear returns to action this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. versus the Eastern New York State runner-ups, Niskayuna. Ithaca (0-3) will take on Northwest Pennsylvania champion, Warrington, (0-1) 2:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon in its final contest of the tournament.

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    MAR - Game 9: Manalapan 13, Wilton 2

    CLIFTON PARK - The Wilton coaching staff had a plan heading into Saturday's second day of pool play, needing two decisive wins and help if they had any chance of advancing to Monday's semifinals.

    That went out the window when their scheduled starter came in with a sore arm and forced the All-Stars into Plan B, Plan C and Plan D as they utilized three different arms in just four innings, falling to the Northern New Jersey champions, Manalapan, 13-2.

    It was the second contest in a row that Wilton fell in a "mercy rule" shortened contest.

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    MAR - Cal RIpken 11-year-old 46/60 Day One standings

    Standings through Day 1

            Pool A                          Pool B
    Metro New York   Kingsbridge   2-0    Southern NJ  Sacred Heart  2-0
    NY Pennsylvania   Spring-Ford  1-0   ENY Runner-Up  Niskayuana  2-0
    Host team     Clifton Park   1-1   SE Pennsylvania   Warrington   0-1
    Northern NJ    Manalapan  0-1    Delaware     Bear All-Stars   0-1
    Eastern NY    Wilton      0-2    Western NY    Ithaca       0-2

    Saturday schedule

  • 10 a.m. Manalapan vs. Wilton (Field 14)
  • 10:30 a.m. Bear vs. Warrington (Field 14)
  • 12:30 p.m. Kingsbridge vs. Spring-Ford (Field 11)
  • 1 p.m. Sacred Heart vs. Warrington (Field 14)
  • 3 p.m. Clifton Park vs. Manalapan (Field 11)
  • 3:30 p.m. Niskayuna vs. Bear (Field 14)
    Note schedule change for Niskayuna vs. Bear moved up to 3:30 p.m.

    NOTICE: Due to pending inclement weather forecast for Sunday, all games on Sunday have been moved up 2 hours.

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  • Friday, August 08, 2008

    MAR - Game 8: Sacred Heart 6, Ithaca 5

    Another one in the book and a strange one at that, Sacred Heart wins, 6-5, over Ithaca in the bottom of the sixth with a walk off.....wait for it....bases loaded walk...

    More details to follow...

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    MAR - Game 7: Kingsbridge 11, Wilton 1

    CLIFTON PARK - The Wilton Cal Ripken 11-year-old stars were the first squad of the Mid-Atlantic Regional 40/60 tournament to lose by 10 runs or more, invoking the pool play "mercy rule" at the hands of the Metro New York champion, Kingsbridge, 11-1.

    Kingsbridge saw Henry Miller hit a three-run home run in the top of the second inning for a three-run lead before Wilton added to its demise, committing three errors, leading to two additional runs in the same stanza.

    The Knights pounded out four more runs on just one hit in the subsequent third inning before putting the contest in the 10-run danger zone with two runs in the fourth.


    More details to follow later this evening.

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    MAR - Game 6: Niskayuna 8, Warrington 5

    CLIFTON PARK - The Niskayuna Warriors, the Eastern New York State runner-up, played like champions for the second time Friday afternoon, defeating Southeastern Pennsylvania champion, Warrington, 7-4, to become the first team with a 2-0 record in pool play.

    Once again Niskayuna's Garrett Whitley proved to be unstoppable, belting an RBI triple and connecting for a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. He hit a grand slam in the Warrior's first contest against Western New York State champion, Ithaca.


    I'll provide more details later this evening.

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    MAR - Game 5: Spring-Ford 7, Clifton Park 5 (7 inns)

    CLIFTON PARK - In the first extra inning contest of the Middle Atlantic Regionals, Northwest Pennsylvania champion and 2007 10-year-old MAR champ Spring-Ford scored two runs in the top of the seventh and held off tournament host Clifton Park, 7-5, Friday afternoon.


    I'll update the blog with more details this evening.

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    MAR - Game 4: Sacred Heart 8, Bear 5

    CLIFTON PARK - The Southern New Jersey champion, Sacred Heart and Delaware champion, Bear, brought the long ball to the Clifton Common Baseball Complex Friday afternoon in the opener for both squads in the Cal Ripken Baseball 11-year-old Middle Atlantic Regional.

    Sacred Heart proved to have the heavier lumber, out-slugging Bear for an 8-5 win.

    Bear took an early lead, 1-0, in the first when Danny Haight came around to score on a error by Sacred Heart.

    Sacred Heart knotting the contest at one apiece in the second when Brett Hoffman reached third base on an error. He scored easily on an RBI single by Ryan Voelker.

    Isaiah Waite led the power output in the third inning for Bear with a two run shot, driving in Derek Lambert who reached on a single, giving Bear a 3-1 lead.

    Sacred Heart cut into the lead when Drew Tumbelty belted a solo shot in the top of the third. He would deliver the game-tying blow in the top of the fifth, again leading off an inning with a home run, knotting the game, 3-3.

    The Southern New Jersey champions were still plugged in during the fifth after Brian Zeng reached on a single and scored on a two-run blast by Christian Bilan for a 5-3 lead.

    Bear roared back in the bottom of the fifth with Derek Lambert reached on a single and Cory Johns came all the way around to score after a three-base error by Sacred Heart, tying the two squads, 5-5.

    Sacred Heart was aggressive in the top of the sixth as Kurt Elmer walked and advanced on the basepaths, stealing home for the go-ahead run. Brian Zeng reached on a bunt single and scored on Drew Tumbelty's RBI single. He would be plated on Tim Zeng's RBI single, 8-5.

    Sacred Heart returns to the diamond at 6 p.m. Friday night to take on Western New York champion, Ithaca. Bear will have the night off, taking on Ithaca 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

    Sacred Heart 011 033 - 8 8 X
    Bear         120 200 - 5 7 X

    Sacred Heart - Christian Bilan, Kurt Elmer (5). Bear - Derek Lambert, Mathew Roberts (5). HR - (SC) Drew Tumbelty 2. (B) Isaiah Waite.

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    MAR - Game 3: Kingsbridge 8, Manalapan 1

    CLIFTON PARK - The Metro New York champion Kingsbridge Knights has Adam de la Cruz and the Northern New Jersey champions, Manalapaan, doesn't. That made all the difference in the opening contest for these two champions Friday afternoon in Clifton Park, New York as Kingsbridge routed Manalapan, 8-1.

    The skills competition home run champion, de la Cruz, was a power again at the plate with the game on the line. He drove in Henry Miller and Drew Semler with a two-run RBI double, giving Kingsbridge a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning. Semler put the Knights on the board in the third with a solo home run.

    A passed ball allowed de la Cruz to score for a 4-0 lead. Lenny Ortiz reached on a single and was replaced by pinch-runner ustin Juarbe who came around to score on a groundout by Jonathan Benitez.

    In the sixth, Sammy Zambrana waalked and Drew Semler reached on a fielder's choice, again setting the table for de la Cruz. He belted a two-run double, scoring both teammates for a 7-0 lead.

    Manalapan avoided the shutout in the fifth after loading the bases with no one out and Matt Klepper hit an RBI single, 7-1.

    The Kingsbridge slugger pitched two innings of relief and scored in the top of the sixth on an RBI single by Ortiz.

    Manalapan takes on Wilton 10 a.m. Saturday morning and Kingsbridge takes on Spring-Ford at 12:30 p.m.

    Kingsbridge 001 133 - 8 6 X
    Manalapan 000 010 - 1 2 X

    Kingsbridge - Drew Semler, Adam de la Cruz (5), Jonathan Benitez (6). Manalapan - Anthony Santoro, Mike Marantz (6), Michael Caggiano (6), Matt Klepper (6).

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    MAR - Game 2: Niskayuna 8, Ithaca 1

    CLIFTON PARK - The Niskayuna Warriors announced their presence with authority in their opening contest of the Middle Atlantic Regional against Ithaca, cruising to a 8-1 victory.

    Niskayuna scored five runs in the second inning, courtesy of a grand slam by Warrior slugger Garrett Whitley, scoring Patrick O'Brien, Tom Spataro and Tom Favata. Brian Toy reached safely earlier in the inning, coming around to score on base hits by his teammates.

    Warrior hurlers Adam Gleason and Tom Favata each went three innings, combining to allow only four hits in the morning contest.

    Ithaca scratched out a run in the fifth when William Strominger crossed the plate.

    Niskayuna will take on Southeast Pennsylvania champion, Warrington at 3:30 p.m. and Ithaca will face Southern New Jersey champion Sacred Heart at 6 p.m.

    Ithaca      000 010 - 1 4 X
    Niskayuna 050 21X - 8 8 X

    Ithaca - Lucas Crawford, Sammy Meminger (4). Niskayuna - Adam Gleason, Tom Favata (4). HR - (N) Garrett Whitley.

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    MAR - Game 1: Clifton Park 7, Wilton 3

    CLIFTON PARK - The Wilton Cal Ripken All-Star 11-year-old squad fell to the Clifton Park Bulldogs, 7-3, in the opening contest of the Middle Atlantic Regional at the Clifton Common Baseball Complex.

    Tournament host Clifton Park came out swinging, connecting for seven run on 13 hits compared to Wilton's three runs on just four hits.

    Clifton Park starter, Justin Yurchak was overpowering at times, striking out seven batters in his four innings of work. Will LeRoy came on to pitch two innings of relief for the Bulldogs.

    LeRoy led Clifton Park with a 3-for-3 morning including an RBI double in the first inning and also scored three runs.

    Wilton scored all three of its runs in the third inning, taking advantage of a Clifton Park throwing error on Grey Laniewski's single to right field, scoring Dylan Murphy and Mike Cahill. Laniewski was plated on Nick Anderson's RBI single to center field.

    Wilton will now face the Metro New York champion, Kingsbridge, at 5:30 p.m. this afternoon. Clifton Park will face Northwest Pennsylvania champion, Spring-Ford at 3:30 p.m.

    Wilton    003 000 - 3 4 0
    Clifton Park 202 30X - 7 13 1


    Wilton - Bryce Kahler, Mike Angelini (5). Clifton Park - Justin Yurchak, Will LeRoy (5). 2B - (W) Jimmy Bennett. (CP) Will LeRoy. CS - (W) Connor Willmott, Nick Anderson.

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    Mid-Atlantic Regional 11-year-old 40/60 underway

    The Cal Ripken 11-year old 40/60
    Middle Atlantic Regional Tournament
    Hosted by the Clifton Park Bulldogs

    Friday - First day of pool play.
  • 9:30 a.m. Clifton Park Bulldogs 7, Wilton 3
  • 10 a.m. Niskayuna 8, Ithaca 1
  • 12:30 p.m. Kingsbridge 8, Manalapan 1
  • 1 p.m. Sacred Heart 8, Bear 5
  • 3 p.m. Spring-Ford 7, Clifton Park 5
  • 3:30 p.m. Niskayuna 8, Warrington 5
  • 5:30 p.m. Kinsbridge 11, Wilton 1
  • 6 p.m. Sacred Heart 6, Ithaca 5

    Saturday - Second day of pool play.
  • 10 a.m. Manalapan 13, Wilton 2
  • 10:30 a.m. Bear 17, Ithaca 2
  • 12:30 p.m. Kingsbridge 11, Spring-Ford 10
  • 1 p.m. Sacred Heart 4, Warrington 2
  • 3 p.m. Clifton Park 5, Manalapan 2
  • 4:30 p.m. Niskayuna 10, Bear 8

    Sunday - Third and final day of pool play.
    Times changed due to rain in forecast, late afternoon. New times reflected.
  • 9 a.m. Manalapan vs. Spring-Ford (Field 14)
  • 9:30 a.m. Bear vs. Warrington (Field 11)
  • 11:30 a.m. Clifton Park vs. Kinsbridge (Field 14)
  • Noon Niskayuna vs. Sacred Heart (Field 11)
  • 2 p.m. Spring-Ford vs. Wilton (Field 14)
  • 2:30 p.m. Warrington vs. Ithaca (Field 11)

    Monday - Single-elimination semifinal round.
  • Noon 2nd place pool B vs. 1st place pool A
  • 2 p.m. 2nd place pool A vs. 1st place pool B

    Tuesday - Championship final.
  • Noon Mid-Atlantic Championship game

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  • Tuesday, August 05, 2008

    Saratoga 16U midget tryouts set Tuesday and Thursday

    Saratoga Youth Hockey has created a 16U midget before and after squad to compliment the high school program with tryouts set for this week.

    Tryouts will be held Tuesday, Aug. 5 from 9:25 to 10:45 p.m. and Thursday, Aug. 7 from 9:10 to 10:30 p.m. with head coach Tim Grande.

    Before and after squads are designed to get hockey players on the ice beginning in the fall, giving way to the high school season, and then extending the season later into the spring.

    There is a $40 tryout fee and players must attend both tryout sessions.

    All players must be registered with USA Hockey and players who played for an organization other than Saratoga Youth Hockey (unless it was high school hockey) must have a release from their previous organization to tryout.

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    Monday, August 04, 2008

    Shen's Jolene Johnston named assistant at Siena

    Former Saints star joins coaching staff
    LOUDONVILLE – The Siena athletic department recently named Jolene Johnston (Clifton Park/Shenendehowa) women's basketball assistant coach. Johnston served the last two years as an assistant coach at UAlbany.

    At Siena, Johnston will have administrative duties including team travel, film exchange and will be the Co-Director of the program's summer camps. She will also recruit and have on-floor coaching responsibilities.

    "We are thrilled to have Jolene Johnston back in our basketball program," said head coach Gina Castelli. "As a player Jolene brought intensity, passion, skill and tremendous leadership to our program. We all knew back then that she would be a great coach. With her coaching experience at UAlbany and her Siena experience, Jolene is very prepared and we could not be more excited to welcome her home."

    Johnston '04 started 68 games and tied the school record with 121 appearances during her four year career. She averaged eight points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. Johnston is sixth in school history in free throw percentage with 79.4% and tenth in total rebounds with 519 boards.

    In 2003-04, Johnston was named MAAC Defensive Player of the Year and selected to the MAAC First Team. She won four regular-season MAAC Titles (2000-2004) and a MAAC Championship in 2001.

    After graduation, Johnston played professionally for the Ponce Leonas in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and T71 in Dudelange, Luxembourg. She has additional coaching experience at local summer camps and was the co-head coach at Scotia-Glenville High School in 2004-05.

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