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Local Sports

June 9, 2013

Afton to face Hamilton standout in semi

It seems odd that Afton's softball team has never hit against Hamilton sophomore Becca Rogers.

Just as Rogers entered as a dominant pitcher for the Emerald Knights, the Crimson Knights took a rare two-year break from the Class D state playoffs.

They'll get acquainted at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, when Section Four champion Afton (21-1) faces Section Three winner Hamilton (21-2) in a Class D state semifinal at the Adirondack Sports Complex in Queensbury.

“I think it's going to be a real good game and that's how it should be in the state tournament,” Afton coach Cindy Bostelman said following her team's 13-0 cruise past Livingston Manor on Tuesday in a state quarterfinal at Minisink Valley.

The Afton-Hamilton winner will face Section Two's Fort Ann or Section Six's Pine Valley in the title game at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the ASC. Fort Ann (23-0) and Pine Valley (9-8) also will play at 1:30 p.m. in a semifinal.

Hamilton breezed past its quarterfinal opponent, scoring 14 times over the final three innings in a 14-0 victory over Heulveton on Tuesday. Rogers struck out 12 in a five-hitter.

Earlier in the season, Rogers dealt with shoulder problems. Both of Hamilton's losses this season came against Center State Conference rival Cooperstown and Rogers didn't pitcher in either game. Cooperstown won the first meeting, 14-1, and the second, 5-2.

Cooperstown (21-1) went on to advance to the Section Three Class C final, falling, 6-4, to Sandy Creek on Saturday.

“Last year, she was clearly the best pitcher we faced,” Cooperstown coach Dave Bliss said of Rogers, who's pitched in nine games this season because of the injury. “She was as good as the Sandy Creek pitcher (Chelsea Claflin) and she was faster than the Sandy Creek pitcher.

“She has very good speed and a solid change-up,” he continued.

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