Wednesday June 12, 2013 | By:Michael J. Petro | News
Senior teammates Bridget Hogan (left) and Sarah Mertowski smile for the camera after winning two games and capturing a Class A championship at the state tournament on Saturday (June 8) in Queensbury. The two veteran players vital in winning the state title hold up the NYSPHSAA plaque given to the championship-winning squad.
Last season, the Hamburg softball team came home proud for having made its first-ever appearance in the state tournament, but disappointed it could make it no further than the semifinals.
Resolved to get back to the tournament and this time, win a state title, this year, the Bulldogs came home from that same tournament to a police and fire escort. It was a fitting way to recognize a team that had lived the dream and reached its ultimate goal.
Hamburg won a Class A state title on Saturday (June 8) in Queensbury after a 1-0 eight-inning semifinal win over Tappan Zee and 5-3 victory in the final against defending state champion Sayville.
The Bulldogs arrived home from the Albany-area around midnight to the well-deserved fanfare as family, friends and fans held up signs, beeped horns and cheered upon their arrival. Hamburg gave one final Bulldogs cheer to officially complete the state-title winning season.
“The whole school and community is so proud of their accomplishment and that they did it with such class and toughness,” Hamburg athletics director Pat Cauley said. “What they did was instrumental for our program. It’s a monumental moment for the school and community.”
And the celebrating and recognition of it is far from over.
The team members and coaches were honored at Hamburg’s Board of Education meeting on Tuesday (June 11). The girls all dressed up in their state championship medals stood up and were greeted by a standing round of applause. “They deserve every ounce of those applause,” said Cauley, who led the recognition.
“When we found out we were absolutely ecstatic,” noted board member Rick Jetter, who congratulated the girls and gave coach Lisa Palma a gift on behalf of the board.
The Village of Hamburg, in conjunction with the district, will hold a rally for the girls on Friday (June 14) around 8 p.m. at Memorial Park.
A parade will begin around 7:40 p.m. as fire trucks pick up the players at the school and take them through the village then to Memorial Park on the corner of Lake and Union streets.
Cauley, who will emcee the event, was still planning it with Village of Hamburg Mayor Tom Moses. He is hoping to have the Hamburg jazz band perform and cheerleaders there to help support the softball team.