POTSDAM – Another season, another softball championship for Franklin Academy.
The Malone varsity softball team successfully defended its Section 10 Class A crown with a 12-7 win over a determined Massena contingent in the championship game held at SUNY Potsdam on Wednesday.
The Lady Huskies found themselves in an unfamiliar spot against a Northern Athletic Conference oppenent – trailing in the early going. Malone dispatched the Red Raiders twice during the regular season en route to a 14-0 league mark.
But the Massena girls gave Malone all the opposition it wanted and jumped in front with three runs in the first inning. Malone erased its early deficit with five runs in the second inning to take the lead, one the Huskies would not reliniquish and earned their third straight Class A title.
Massena jumped quickly in front of the FA girls with three runs in the opening at-bat, as Addy Rufa reached on the first of two Malone errors in the game. One-out later, Rufa raced to second on a Chelsea Streeter single, then the two runners moved up a base as Bailey Dillabough worked winning pitcher Annie Sharlow for a free pass which loaded the bases full of Red Raiders.
Taylor Day followed with the first of her two hits in the game, driving in Rufa and Streeter with Dillabough moving to third on the play, then scoring on losing pitcher Reaghan Peets sacrifice fly.
The early deficit didnt seem to faze the FA girls, as Morgan Fountain led off the home-half of the first and promptly ripped a shot to left, which hit off the base of the fence. By the time the Massena left fielder reached the ball, Fountain was racing around second and heading to third, where she glanced over her shoulder at the play behind her and ran through coach Greg Marshalls stop sign and got the Huskies on the board.
Sharlow settled down in the second and retired the side in order.
The FA offense responded and struck for five runs. The big blows in the frame came off the bats of Fountain and Emily Marshall.
Fountain, who finished the championship game with a 4—4 effort at the dish, laced a two-run single to score Whitney Legacy and Katie Lamica and moved Brooke Collins to third. Marshall followed with a two-run triple that bounced off the fence in center, scoring Collins and Fountain. Sharlow added to the inning with an RBI single.
Massena came right back, but could only push one run across as Day drove in Streeter with an RBI double.
Malone increased its lead to 9-3 with three more runs in the third. Erin McDonald (2-4, 3 runs scored) tripled to right-center to lead off the inning and scored on Legacys sac bunt. Collins reached on the first of two Massena miscues and moved up a base as Alissa McCauley ripped a single to left. Fountain drove in Collins with a double and McCauley crossed the plate on the second Red Raider error of the inning.
The Huskies upped their lead to 11-3 with two runs in the fourth. McDonald laced a liner off the glove of Dillabough, the Massena shortstop, and moved to second on Legacys sac bunt. Both girls moved up a base on a Massena throwing error and McDonald scored on an ensuing throw to first as Lamica grounded out. Collins drove in Legacy with a sac fly.
Massena wouldnt go away and scored its fifth run of the game on a walk, an error and an RBI single from Peets. The Red Raiders completed its run production in the sixth with the final two of the season as Streeter drove in Rufa and Sam Villnave with her two-run double.
Malone capped the win with a solo run in the sixth. McDonald stood on second after a two-base error, stole third, then scored as Legacy got her first base hit of the contest, a perfectly-placed bunt single down the third-base line.
In picking up the win, Sharlow tossed the first six and two-thirds innings, with Alexa Prue covering the final one and one-third. The FA hurling duo combined for 11 strikeouts and four walks, with Sharlow striking out nine.
Fountain paced the FA squad with her 4—4 game which included two singles, a double, the inside-the-park home run and four runs batted in. Sharlow singled and double while McDonald singled and tripled during the championship-game victory. Marshall tripled and drove in two runs, while singles came off the bats of Legacy (2RS), Lamica, Bollins (2RS) and McCauley.
For Massena, Streeter paced the club with three hits, three runs scored and two RBI, while Day singled, doubled and drove in three runs. Peets singled and had two RBI and Stephanie McKeel had the other Red Raider hit, a single in the fourth.
CLASS B SEMIS
In the Section 10 Class B softball semi-finals on Wednesday, OFA stopped Salmon River 13-4 and Canton blanked Gouverneur 5-0. The Class B title game is slated for Friday at 5:30 p.m. at SUNY Potsdam.
OFA 13, Salmon River 4: The Devils jumped out to an 10-0 lead against Salmon River while Jenny Dalton pitched three scoreless innings. They answered Salmon Rivers first run, in the top of the fourth inning, with two in the fourth and Dalton close with two scoreless innings after the Shamrocks scored three times in the fifth inning.
Riley Luckie lined a double and two singles and scored five runs in the leadoff spot in the OFA batting order and Taylor Perry followed with three singles and three RBIs.
Alicia Sharpe also stroked three singles and drove in one run while Kristen Snyder singled twice with an RBI.
Adriana Compo delivered a two-run single and Dalton aided her pitching cause with an RBI single.
Taylor Armstrong singled and doubled for Salmon River and Melanie Taylor singled twice and pitched a complete game. Sierra White doubled.
Canton 5, Gouverneur 0: Ciarra Wilmart supplied a two-RBI single in a three run fourth inning after Kali Frank walked and Laura Smith and Beth Pearson earned bunt singles.
Pearson connected for a double in the two run sixth inning and pitched the win striking out seven, allowing five hits and one walk and stranding seven runners on base including four in scoring position.
Willmart also singled twice in the contest for the Bears. Jen Wilcox and Emily Dean each singled.
Mackenzie Rowe fanned 14 batters and allowed two walks for Gouverneur. Alyssa Whitton smacked a triple and a single while Alexa Rowe singled twice. Taylor Andrews also singled.
CLASS D OPENERS
After being rained out on Tuesday, the other two Class D quarter-final games played on Wednesday saw Lisbon down Edwards-Knox 14-5 and Hammond turn back Chateaugay 4-2. Hammond will now travel to South Colton this afternoon to take on second-seeded Colton-Pierrepont in the semi-finals while Lisbon heads to top-seeded Heuvelton.