Jun. 18—ELLENBURG — Northern Adirondack just had to settle in.
The Bobcats fell behind 2-0 right off the bat in the first inning, but they gradually fought back and were holding a championship banner by the end of the game.
Northern Adirondack took home the Section VII Class C softball crown with a 12-2 defeat of Ticonderoga, Thursday.
After surrendering two runs in the first inning, winning pitcher Rhylee Poupore tossed six scoreless frames and kept the Sentinels from adding on any runs or mounting a rally once the Bobcats took control.
Northern Adirondack grabbed the lead for good in the third inning when Hallie Gilmore blooped an RBI single to center to give the Bobcats a 3-2 advantage.
Gilmore had come up in a similar situation in the first inning with runners on second and third with no outs, but she stranded both runners with a groundout to second base.
She made sure to capitalize during her second trip to the plate.
“You have to keep your head in the game,” Gilmore said. “You just have to leave that in the past and look forward. I was glad we could win this game and end the season on a high note.”
Gilmore finished tied for the team lead in hits with three along with Mackenna LaBarge.
Northern Adirondack received contributions up and down the lineup as every player had at least a hit, run scored or run batted in.
“We talked before the game about how we did not want to fall behind in the first, but we did,” Bobcats coach Dennis LaBarge said.
“There were some big eyes coming in, but we knew we had to grab momentum back, and we did. We had to gradually get it back. The girls were really relaxed today. I was proud of that. They supported each other all game.”
The Sentinels jumped out to a fast start thanks to a leadoff single from Kennedy Davis, an RBI single by Lizzie Rich and a run-scoring single off the bat off Cassidy Mattison.
After that, however, Ticonderoga managed to record just two more hits and had a small rally stopped quickly when Abby Peryea turned a sparkling 6-3 double play in the fifth frame for Northern Adirondack.
“Rhylee kept us off balance,” Sentinels coach Eric Mullen said. “She is a great pitcher. We saw her three times this year, and each time, we struggled to catch up to her.
“We are mostly young and inexperienced. The nerves got us a little bit. We struggled and gave up some walks and wild pitches late, and they capitalized.”
Poupore finished with four strikeouts and made quick work of Ticonderoga in the final three innings as she faced the minimum.
To cap matters off, she caught the final out of the game.
“I kind of wanted to make the last out with a strikeout, but I will take it,” Poupore said while laughing. “We won, and that’s all that matters.
“It just feels great that we could have the season. We started the season strong and finished the season strong. We may have had a couple rough games, but we fought right to the end.”
Poupore capped off a three-run fifth inning with a two-run single and finished with two hits to help her own cause, and Emily VanValkenburg added a triple and single to boost the Bobcats.
Northern Adirondack piled on an additional seven runs in the fifth and sixth frames to gain plenty of cushion.
“This means a whole lot to our team,” Dennis LaBarge said. “There were some missed opportunities for this program in past years, but these girls rallied together and finished off their season with a big win.”
Mattison finished with a team-high two hits for Ticonderoga, and Anna Whitman was the losing pitcher, surrendering seven earned runs on 10 hits and four walks. She punched out four batters.
“Having the opportunity to play after the pandemic, the girls should be proud of what they did,” Mullen said. “They battled through the season and played well, and if they want to put in the work moving forward, they can have a lot of success.”
Northern Adirondack 12, Ticonderoga 2
TCS 200 000 0 — 2 5 5
NAC 013 234 X — 12 12 0
Whitman, Paige (6) and Dorsett. Poupore and Gilmore. WP- Poupore. LP- Whitman. 3B- VanValkenburg (NAC).
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