The St. Lawrence Central and Norwood-Norfolk varsity softball teams set the stage for a Section 10 Class C rematch after generating semi-final round wins on their home diamonds Thursday afternoon.
The top-seeded Lady Larries, who earned the NAC East Division regular season banner, earned a chance to defend their sectional title by steadily pulling away to a 14-0 win over Tupper Lake while the second-seeded Lady Flyers advanced by outlasting Brushton-Moira 2-1.
This years Class C final is slated for next Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at SUNY Potsdam. The teams split their regular season games with the Lady Flyers claiming a 3-1 decision in the first meeting and SLC winning 10-1 in the second.
SLC 14, N-N 0: In Brasher Falls, the Lady Larries got all the runs they needed in their first at-bat with five then put the game out of reach with a six-run surge in the third.
Kelsey Newtown pitched the first three innings and then returned to the mound to start the seventh to claim the win after three frames of hitless relief by Lindsey Thayer. Newtown finished with nine strikeouts and two walks while Thayer fanned eight and walked one. Malorie McLear went the distance in taking the loss.
Thayer also played a lead role offensively going 4-5 with four RBI and two runs scored. Noelle Rufa (3 runs scored, 2RBI) and Haleigh Agans (2RBI, run scored) delivered three hits each. Breanna Vatter (2 runs scored) Brandi Thomas (run scored) had two hits apiece. Chelsea Savage (run scored), Sam Richards (run scored) and Morgan Ramsdell all finished with solo hits while Bailey Gauthier came around to scored a solo run.
McLear singled along with Jordyn Staves and Hayley McCottery to account for the three Tupper Lake hits.
The Lady Larries improved to 19-2 overall with the win.
N-N 2, B-M 1: In Norfolk, the Lady Flyers (16-4) overcame an early deficit to earn their bid to the Class C final. Carlea Weaver set the stage for the game-winning run with a single in the sixth. Cortney Harvey then tripled her home.
Katie Ames went the distance for the win, striking out two and walking one while scattering four hits. Emily O-Connor took the loss, fanning seven and walking two while limiting the Lady Flyers to just three hits.
The Lady Panthers opened the scoring in their first at-bat where OConnor doubled home Rachel Tower.
Harvey scored the tying run in the second after drawing a walk while Aleah Palmer connected for the other N-N hit.
Megan Debeer and Ariel Gary had the other hits for the Lady Panthers who finished the season at 12-5.
In other sectional softball openers on Thursday, Salmon River advanced to the Class B semi-finals with a 15-0 decision over Potsdam while the Class D game between Chateaugay and Madrid-Waddington, which was suspended after four innings with Chateaugay leading 7-4 on Wednesday, was again postponed due to unplayable field conditions in Chateaugay.
Salmon River 15, Potsdam 0: In Fort Covington, Emily Tremblay fired her first career no-hitter to pick up the win in the circle while the victory by the lady Shamrocks was the first career playoff win for Head Coach Liz Durfee.
Tremblay sat the Sandstoners down in order in the top of the first inning, as all three batted balls were fielded by third baseman Taylor Armstrong, who snagged a pair of sharp one-hoppers and snared a line drive to help the Shamrocks set the tone.
The Lady Shamrocks opened up the scoring in the bottom of the first inning with five runs, sending 11 batters to the plate against losing pitcher Jordan Emerson. The Shamrocks scored all five runs on only one base hit, a single by Tremblay, as Emerson issued five walks and hit one batter. Three of the five runs crossed the dish on wild pitches as the Potsdam pitcher struggled with control issued during the game. Emerson had a total of 17 walks, hit three batters, but gave up only four hits during the season-ending loss.
Salmon River (2-11) didnt let up and pushed across four runs in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and increased the lead with the games final two runs in the sixth inning.
Offensively for the Shamrocks, Melanie Taylor finished 1-for-1, with her one hit a triple into the left-center field gap. Taylor also walked four times and scored twice.
Tremblay, Armstrong and Erica Martin had the other hits for the Shamrocks and each came around to score a pair of runs. Sierra White scored three runs as she walked in all five plate appearances. Kwas Laffin score two runs as did Keri Shenandoah.
In picking up the first career playoff victory for her coach, Tremblay stuck out six Potsdam batters, issued four free passes and hit three batters.
I dont like it when I give up a hit, walk or hit a batter, stated Tremblay. Im happy that we won and I hope we can play well in our next game.
That seems to be the montra for the Lady Shamrocks as coach Durfee sidestepped the issue of her first career playoff win and turned her attention toward her charges.
We came in ready to play today, said the SRC coach. I was impressed with the way we held them with a runner on third. It was nice to see them want to play and hopefully we can carry that attitude into our next game, added Durfee.
The Lady Shamrocks will head to Ogdensburg on Tuesday to take on top-seeded OFA in the semi-finals starting at 4:30 p.m. Canton takes on Gouverneur in the other Tuesday semi while the Class B final is slated for Thursday at SUNY Potsdam starting at 3:30 p.m.
Chateaugay vs. M-W: The two teams will now head to Brasher Falls on Tuesday to complete their game starting at 3:30 p.m. The winner will then take on Lisbon at the same field starting at 5 p.m. in a semi-final round matchup.