Tuesday's semifinal round saw all but two local teams advance in the Section II Softball Tournament -- an ugly 2-for-7 performance, although one local team was guaranteed a loss because of the head-to-head matchup between Hartford and Salem in Class D.
South Glens Falls (in Class A), Schuylerville (Class B), and Greenwich and Lake George (Class C), as well as Salem, were all ushered out of the sectionals in one rough one-hour and 45-minute span Tuesday afternoon.
For myself and my colleague Diana Nearhos, it was softball overload with four games involving local teams at Moreau Rec. All four games had their share of action -- and they all ended about the same time, right around 5:30 p.m.
Our game plan was to split the coverage of the games -- and it worked pretty well. I was planning to concentrate on the Hartford-Salem game, and keep an eye on the adjacent Lake George-Greenville game in Class C. Diana would plan on covering Greenwich-Maple Hill, and keep an eye on Fort Ann-Germantown. As it turned out, Fort Ann's game with Germantown was much more interesting, and I stayed on the Hartford-Salem game, as it was close throughout.
Meanwhile, Will Springstead headed down to Schalmont High School for the South Glens Falls vs. Troy semifinal in Class A.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to cover Schuylerville's Class B semifinal against Ichabod Crane, in which the Black Horses fell short in a 1-0 defensive duel.
Check out the links to the game stories:
-- Hartford 3, Salem 0: Tanagers senior Bailey Hasemann pitched a three-hit shutout with six strikeouts and two walks. Hartford had to manufacture three runs, because Salem's Morgan Keys scattered four hits and struck out five. The Tanagers had nine extra baserunners -- five walks, four hit batters -- but left the bases loaded three three times, and had three runners thrown out at the plate.
-- Fort Ann 7, Germantown 6 (8 innings): The top-seeded Cardinals pulled out a thrilling victory with two out in the eighth, as Emily Jackson drove in Renee Allen with the winning run with a single through the gap. Fort Ann, which had not played a real game in 10 days, had to overcome eight errors and an early 2-0 deficit to the Clippers. After a 2-run single by Taylor Foran to tie the score in the third inning, Demi Stockman blasted a three-run inside-the-park home run for a 5-2 lead. Germantown closed within 6-5 and tied the score in the top of the seventh. Fort Ann sat the Clippers down 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth to set the stage for Jackson.
-- Troy 4, South Glens Falls 2: The No. 1-seeded Bulldogs fell in the Class A semifinals for the third year in a row, as Troy pitcher Hunter Levesque served up a five-hitter with seven strikeouts. Amber Bourdeau and Alexa Brown belted solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively, but South High could not overcome the 4-0 deficit. The Bulldogs have not won a Section II title since 2012, and last reached the title game in 2013.
-- Maple Hill 7, Greenwich 2: The Witches struggled with an uncharacteristic error-filled game as they fell short of a return trip to the Section II finals, which they last reached in 2014. Gabby Wiss hit a two-run homer to account for Greenwich's runs.
-- Greenville 12, Lake George 3: The Warriors nearly scored first, but their baserunner was thrown out at the plate. Then the No. 1-seeded Spartans responded with five runs in the bottom of the first. Morgan Zilm and Nicole Nolin each had two hits for Lake George, and Rebecca Jaeger struck out seven and added a double and two RBIs.
-- Ichabod Crane 1, Schuylerville 0: The Black Horses saw their season end in a tight defensive battle with defending state champion Ichabod Crane. Jordan Dormady's double drove in Alex McKerin in the fifth inning on the only hit that made it out of the infield in the game. Pitching ace Calista Phippen struck out nine and held Schuylerville to two hits, while Black Horses lefty Katie Lehan tossed a three-hitter with three strikeouts.
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