PLATTSBURGH — The Fort Ann Cardinals are the defending state champions in Class D girls’ softball.
The Section II champions showed why they may again be the team to beat this year following an impressive 19-0 victory against Section VII’s Crown Point in the New York State Public High School Association’s regional final at Plattsburgh State’s Cardinal Park Friday afternoon.
Fort Ann (19-1) will now play Section IV’s Deposit in state semifinal action next weekend.
“Everything was working well (Friday),” Cardinals coach Jason Humiston said following his team’s victory. “We were seeing the ball really well at the plate. We can score runs, and we were driving the ball (Friday).”
Fort Ann started out fast as all nine batters reached base in the first inning, highlighted by Kayleigh Foran’s ground-rule double and RBI singles by Bri Amodio, Taylor Furan and Emily Clute. The Cardinals were also aided by two Crown Point errors in the inning.
“It helped getting off to such a good start,” Humiston said. “We took advantage of the chances we had.”
Fort Ann scored two more runs in the second, again with the aid of a pair of Panther errors, and then built a commanding 12-0 lead with four more runs in the third inning.
“I was telling the team that if we make the plays we’re supposed to make, we’ve got a chance,” Crown Point coach Mike Ross said. “If you make six errors against this team (Fort Ann), you’re not going to do well.”
Crown Point also had problems creating any offense of their own as the Cardinals’ Molly Bailey used pinpoint control to keep the Panthers at bay.
“She’s a veteran,” Humiston said of Bailey’s leadership in guiding Fort Ann to the state championship in 2013. “She’s comfortable on the mound, and she knows what she wants to do.”