Lady Vikings Take Second At National Tournament
CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085 or (518) 210-4161
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Saturday, May 18, 2002
Hudson Valley Finishes With 37 Wins, Four All-Tourney
Joliet, Illinois, May 18, 2002 – Hudson Valley
Community College's softball squad made the most of
its first-ever visit to the National Junior College
Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III national
championship tournament, overcoming an early defeat
and taking second place. After losing their first game
of the tourney, on Friday, the Lady Vikings rebounded
by embarking on an improbable two-day, five-game
winning streak against the best Division III
competition in the nation.
After winning two out of three games on Friday – the
first day of the tournament, Thursday, was rained out,
forcing teams to endure a packed schedule on Friday
and today – Hudson Valley captured two victories this
morning to advance to the final round against
Brookdale Community College. Brookdale came into the
final round undefeated in the tourney, so Hudson
Valley needed to beat the New Jersey team twice to
earn the national title.
In the first game, at 2 p.m., Christyn Hamel (Averill
Park H.S.) tossed a complete-game three-hitter and
catcher Sarah Truax (Shenendehowa H.S.) smacked a
sixth-inning single, scoring Kimberly Welcome (Cohoes
H.S.) and giving the Lady Vikings a 1-0 victory over
Brookdale. Game two also was a pitcher's duel, but
Brookdale pulled out a 2-0 win despite the valiant
efforts of Hudson Valley pitchers Kelly Scott
(Schuylerville H.S.) and Kim Prior
(Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk H.S.), who combined to hold
Brookdale to six hits and one earned run.
"I'm so proud of my team," said Chuck Sosnowski,
Hudson Valley's coach. "They're true competitors, they
never gave up. Four games in one day was just one too
many. We ran out of gas. We certainly gave it our
With the loss, the Lady Vikings finished the
tournament and the season as the No. 2 Division III
junior college team in the nation, the highest Hudson
Valley has ever been ranked in softball. Hamel, Truax,
Lindsey Bradt (Bishop Maginn H.S.) and Kiah Narotski
(Hoosick Falls H.S.) all earned First Team
"It's bittersweet," Sosnowski said. "We wanted to win
this thing, but my players have got nothing to hang
their heads about. This team is so gutsy. Everybody
out here saw a Hudson Valley team that played its
heart out every game."
Hudson Valley's four-game day began like this: at 10
a.m. today, the Lady Vikings avenged Friday's loss to
Montana's Dawson Community College, using a shutout by
Scott to record a 5-0 victory; and at noon, the Lady
Vikings scored seven runs in the first inning to down
Illinois' College of DuPage, the defending national
champions, 10-4. Those wins propelled Hudson Valley
into the final round against Brookdale.
"I can't praise this team enough," Sosnowski said.
"They focused every game. They hit the ball really
well, they pitched really well and they played well in
the field. Hudson Valley was very well represented at
the national championship tournament. This team proved
it belonged here."
Hudson Valley, which featured 12 players on its
roster, all hailing from Section II high schools,
finished the season with a 37-9 record.
"Hudson Valley's 1994 and '95 softball teams were
undefeated in the regular season, but this is the best
softball team Hudson Valley has ever had," said Drew Marrochello, Hudson Valley's athletics director, who served as an assistant coach on the '94 and '95 softball squads. "In Chuck Sosnowski, we finally have a coach who understands the high talent level in this area, and the importance of recruiting it. The talent in Section II ranks among the best in the nation, and Chuck's responsible for bringing it together at Hudson Valley. He's a great coach and this is a great team."