Hudson Valley Softball and Baseball Teams Open this Weekend

CONTACT: Steve Mullen (518) 629-8063
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Hudson Valley Community College baseball and softball teams open their 2007 seasons on the road this weekend. The softball team will play a pair of doubleheaders in Southern New Jersey – at Cumberland County College on Saturday and at Salem Community College on Sunday. The baseball team will open its season with a doubleheader at Rappahannock Community College (VA) on Saturday.

Under fifth year head coach Jeff Beyer, Hudson Valley’s softball team will be looking for its 20th consecutive winning season and a chance to get back to the Region III tournament where its season came to an abrupt end a year ago with a 1-0 loss to eventual national champion Monroe Community College.

The Lady Vikings have four players returning from last year’s team that finished 30-10, including Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year Tracy Chesebrough (Duanesburg/Duanesburg High School). Chesebrough set a school record with 22 wins on the mound last year against only six defeats. She posted a 1.20 earned run average and struck out a school-record 298 batters in 186 innings of work. She also hit .333 (32-for-96) and drove in 25 runs.

Outfielder Sarah Spellman (Bethlehem/Bethlehem High School), an All-Conference player a year ago, returns after leading the team with a .434 (53-for-122) average and setting school standards with 11 home runs and 50 RBI. Catcher Talia Valenti (Troy/Troy High School), who hit .302 (32-for-106) with 27 RBI, and outfielder Ashley Hoffman (East Greenbush/Columbia High School), who hit .312 (29-for-93), also returns.

Eleven players return from the baseball team’s 26-19 season a year ago. Under second year head coach Dave Hennessey, Hudson Valley will be looking to get back to the regional final four after falling to eventual regional champion Herkimer County Community College in last year’s first round.

Sophomore All-American Nate Novak (Hudson/Hudson High School) was named the Region III Player of the Year as a freshman after posting an 8-2 record with a 1.74 earned run average and leading the team with .376 (50-for-133) batting average. He struck out 83 batters and allowed just 39 hits in 62 innings of work.

Shortstop Andrew Brickwedel (Troy/Catholic Central High School), who hit .343 (37-for-108) with 20 RBI, and outfielder Matt LaValley (Guilderland/Guilderland High School), who hit .270 (30-for-11) with 23 RBI, each return after starting more than 30 games a year ago.