PLATTSBURGH - Wednesday found the Ticonderoga and Lake Placid softball teams involved in a rematch for the Section VII, Class C title at SUNY Plattsburgh's Cardinal Park.
And just like a year ago, the Sentinels pulled out a 6-5 victory to capture their sixth straight championship.
In last season's final, Ticonderoga came from behind to win with a grand slam in its final at-bat. This time around, Lake Placid was the team attempting to rally, and the Blue Bombers came close when junior Serina Hayes drilled a seventh-inning pitch over the fence for a two-out, three-run homer. But Lake Placid couldn't come up with the tying run as its next batter grounded out to end the game.
Teammates rush to the plate to celebrate with Lake Placid junior Serina Hayes after she belted a three-run homer in the top of the seventh that cut the Blue Bombers deficit to 6-5 in Wednesday’s Section VII, Class C championship game against Ticonderoga. The Sentinels held on to claim a 6-5 win for their sixth straight title.
(Photo — Alicia Brandes)
Serina Hayes launches a three-run homer in the top of the seven inning to cut Lake Placid's deficit to 6-5 in Wednesday's Class C final against Ticonderoga.
(Photo — Alicia Brandes
For the second year in a row, Jordan McKee earned the pitching win in the championship game against Lake Placid. Hayes also had a strong performance in the pitchers' circle only allowing six hits. Meanwhile, the Blue Bombers rapped out eight hits including Dani Balestrini's two-out triple in the first inning. After reaching third on the play, the senior catcher scored the game's first run when the throw to the base missed its mark.
Trailing 1-0 the Sentinels began producing runs, They scored one in the bottom of the second to tie the game and tacked on two more in the next inning to jump ahead 3-1. Lake Placid responded with a run in the fourth to make it a 3-2 game, and was in position to add more potential runs with baserunners on second and third with just one out. The Sentinels, however, recorded two big outs to end the inning and preserve their one-run edge.
Ticonderoga then took advantage of two Blue Bombers errors to score three times in the sixth for a 6-2 lead, which set the stage for another dramatic finish, and ultimately, another heartbreaking loss in a championship game for Lake Placid.
It marked the third time in as many years Lake Placid has fallen in the finals. Wednesday's game also was the last varsity competition for Blue Bombers seniors Balestrini and Ayla Thompson, who are both three-sport athletes.
Hayes, a junior, went 4-for-4 at the plate to lead Lake Placid, including rapping out a double for two extra-base hits on the day. She also struck out seven after relieving starting pitcher Brooke Reid in the fourth inning. Balestrini finished with two hits, Reid notched a double and Thompson added a single for the Blue Bombers, who finished the season with a 7-8 record.
The Sentinels, who are 17th in state Class C rankings, improved to 13-3 with the win and now move on to play the winner of a matchup between the Section X and II champions.