June 5, 2013

Panthers fall short against Cards

MOREAU — Fort Ann pitcher Molly Bailey kept Crown Point off-balance and scoreless through six sterling innings Tuesday.

Down 2-0, the Panthers finally put together a threat that added some late-game drama to the NYSPHSAA Class D softball regional final at Moreau Recreational Park.

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Alex Macey and Brittany Foote singled to lead off the top of the seventh inning and advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Hunter Spaulding. Logan Harrington hit a flare in front of Fort Ann shortstop Kayla Bancroft, who fired home in time to nail Macey at the plate despite a hard collision with the catcher.

Bailey ended the threat and the game with a strikeout, sending the Cardinals to the state semifinals while ending Crown Point’s previously unblemished season.

“I got to give (Fort Ann) credit, they made some really good defensive plays and they played a good game. Their pitcher pitched good and we didn’t hit the ball like we normally do, but holding them to two runs, we were in it right to the end,” said Crown Point assistant coach Jack Harrington, who teamed with two other assistants and the school’s athletic director to lead the Panthers Tuesday.

First-year head coach Tony Macey could not attend the game after being ejected in Crown Point’s Section VII title-game win.

Fort Ann (23-0) knocked Crown Point (18-1) out of the state tournament – and ended the Panthers’ season – for the second straight year.

“You never count anyone out,” Fort Ann coach Tim Gleason said. “We’ve seen Crown Point before. We’ve won games like this, 2-0. We beat them when we won the states in 2006 – we beat them 3-2. We’ve had very, very close games with Crown Point – never take them lightly.”

Fort Ann, ranked second in the state, took advantage of two Crown Point errors for its first run and manufactured the second with small ball.

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