Crown Point returns to final four in search of first title

RYAN HAYNER/P-R PHOTO

Crown Point’s Hannah Palmer (13) and Sydney Gould (15) celebrate after Palmer scored against Fort Ann during a NYSPHSAA Class D softball regional.

FORT EDWARD — For just the second time in program history, Crown Point is in the final four.

The Panthers (12-0) play Section V’s Alfred-Almond (17-5) in a NYSPHSAA Class D softball semifinal at 9 a.m. at Moreau Recreational Park.

If Crown Point defeats the Eagles, it advances to the state championship at 1:30 p.m. against either Section III’s La Fargeville or Section IV’s Deposit.

In their semifinal matchup, the Panthers will have to face a pitcher that nearly tossed a no-hitter in her last game.

Alfred-Almond’s Ali Fancher hurled a complete-game one-hitter in her team’s 4-0 victory over Section VI’s Panama in a regional.

The Eagles’ 17-player roster is comprised of mainly upperclassmen with seven seniors, seven juniors and three freshmen.

Alfred-Almond is known for playing small ball, consistently putting runners in motion and moving runners over with sacrifice bunts.

Against Panama, two of the Eagles’ four runs came on safety squeezes, while their other two runs resulted from passed balls.

Renee Yezarski sports a batting average near .500 and serves as Alfred-Almond’s most reliable hitter.

For Crown Point, Shawna McIntosh has been the Panthers’ ace.

McIntosh and Crown Point, after losing six straight years to Fort Ann, found a way to best its Section II rival with a 5-3 win to make the final four.

McIntosh pitched a no-hitter in the Panthers’ 6-0 win against Elizabethtown-Lewis/Westport in the Section VII championship.

McIntosh, Hannah Palmer and Swade Potter have been three of the top hitters throughout the season in Crown Point’s lineup.

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