SARANAC LAKE - Saranac Lake's softball team controlled its own destiny entering Monday's regular-season finale. With a win over Plattsburgh at home, the Red Storm would hold sole possession of the third seed for the Class B playoffs as well as a 10-win record.
But the defensive-minded Hornets wanted no part of that plan.
In a game that saw only three runs scored and a combined seven hits, visiting Plattsburgh came up with some big plays in the field in a 2-1 triumph over Saranac Lake. The outcome left both teams with a regular-season split and 9-6 records in the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference.
Plattsburgh’s Kolbi Lyon slides home to beat the tag of Saranac Lake pitcher Nicole Viscardo to score the first run of Monday’s game.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
Saranac Lake won 7-3 when the teams first met this season, but this time the Red Storm could only manage one run when Gabby Lewis got the best of a collision at home with Plattsburgh catcher Karlie Neale in the fourth inning. Meanwhile, the Hornets crossed the plate twice. They got their first run in the third inning when Kolbi Lyon scored on a passed ball and followed with the game-winner in the top of the fifth when Neale doubled to drive Maddy Trombley home from third base.
Jamie Bedard went the distance to earn the pitching win. Bedard fanned just three Saranac Lake batters early, but with the backing of a solid defense, she allowed just four hits.
With Nicole Viscardo and Brittany Tschirhart pitching for the hosts, Saranac Lake was also solid in the field. Viscardo threw the first four innings and gave up three hits and struck out three batters. Tschirhart worked the last three innings and struck out four.
The Red Storm committed just one error and the Hornets had two.
"It would have been nice to finish third all by ourselves and have another win over Plattsburgh," Saranac Lake head coach Diana Schwartz said. "This was a big game and we needed the win. Plattsburgh played really good defense. Some catches in left field and a few more were an inch or two away from being doubles or triples for us. We did play well but I think we were a little flat."
Plattsburgh scored the game's first run with two outs in the top of the third inning. After the Hornets two leadoff batters both grounded out to the pitcher, Lyon singled, stole second, reached third on a wild pitch and then beat the tag at the plate on a passed ball.
Trailing 1-0, Saranac Lake evened the score in the bottom of the fourth. Lewis reached first on a fielder's choice, then rounded the bases when Jordy McDougall smacked a double to deep left field.
Two of Plattsburgh's three hits in the game came in the fifth and resulted in the game-winning run. Trombley led off with a single, and after Ceiara Duquette struck out, Lyon moved Trombley to second with a sacrifice. Neale followed by ripping a double to score Trombley.
Facing another one-run deficit, the Red Storm only put runners on base three times during the final three innings, with two batters advancing to first after getting hit by pitches and the third reaching on a error. But the Red Storm baserunners were left stranded as the Hornets clamped down on defense to earn the win. The game ended when Trombley, Plattsburgh's second baseman, snagged a hard line drive that Saranac Lake slugger Chelsea LaFountain cracked for the final out of the contest.
"We played some really good defense," Plattsburgh head coach Vickie McMillan said. "This was a huge win. Both teams battled, and this was the type of game you want to see heading into the playoffs."
McDougall rapped out two of Saranac Lake's four hits, finishing with a single and double. Megan Moody also doubled for the Red Storm and Christina Rabideau had a single.
A decision on dates and locations for the Section VII, Class B postseason is expected to be made today. Saranac Lake will host a first-round playoff game.
Plattsburgh 2, Saranac Lake 1
|Hornets||001 010 0 — 2 3 2|
|Red Storm||000 100 0 — 1 4 1|
Bedard and Neale. Viscardo, Tschirhart (5) Rabideau and McGuoirk. WP - Neale. LP - Viscardo. 2B - Neale (PHS), McDougall (SL), Moody (SL).