LAKE GEORGE — What a difference two weeks makes — or for that matter, 24 hours — for the Salem softball team.
The Generals staged a five-run rally in the top of the seventh inning Thursday to pull out a 5-4 Adirondack League semifinal victory over Lake George.
Salem (9-4), ranked 15th in the state in Class D, advances to play undefeated and second-ranked Whitehall in the league championship game, set for Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Moreau Rec.
Thursday’s win avenged an 8-1 loss to Lake George on May 1, and gave the Generals an opportunity to bounce back from their mistake-ridden 13-1 loss to Whitehall on Wednesday.
“We were a completely different team,” said Stacy Riche, Salem’s first-year coach. “In the first game, (Lake George) hit us well and they controlled our bats. (Thursday) we got the bat on the ball for timely hits and we were able to execute plays when we needed to.”
Trailing 3-0 in the top of the seventh, the Generals scored in a flurry. Blake Riche belted a double, then scored on an error on a ball hit by Amber Terry. MacKenzie Keays was hit by a pitch and Hannah Ingleston laid down a bunt single to load the bases. Kaitlyn Dunlavey ripped a two-run double to tie the score and Jocelyn Keys followed with a two-run single to give Salem the lead.
But the Generals still had to survive the bottom of the seventh.
“They had the heart of their lineup coming up, (batters) 3-4-5,” Stacy Riche said.
Tyler Bergman and Rebecca Jaeger singled for Lake George to put the tying run on base with one out. A groundout scored Bergman, but Generals sophomore Sarah McCauliffe struck out the last batter to end the game. McCauliffe finished with six strikeouts.
The Warriors (14-3), ranked fifth in the state in Class C, got three hits from Rachel Jaeger and a two-run home run from Olivia Gates.
Whitehall (11-0) defeated Fort Ann 4-1 in Thursday’s other semifinal.