POTSDAM A defensive letdown kept the St. Lawrence Central softball team from stopping the defending state Class C champions Wednesday.
St. Lawrence pitcher Lindsey Thayer allowed just one earned run, walked two and struck out 14, but she was victimized by eight errors as Section 2s Greenwich prevailed 5-4 in a Class C quarterfinal at SUNY Potsdam.
St. Lawrence (20-3) lost for the first time in 18 games. Greenwich advances to face Section 3 champion Sandy Creek in the semifinals Saturday at the Adirondack Sports Complex in Queensbury.
In the earlier quarterfinal game at SUNY Potsdam, Troy, the top-ranked team in the state, defeated Malone 3-1 in a Class A clash.
GREENWICH 5, ST. LAWRENCE 4
Thayer, a junior, scattered six hits, but battled baserunners all day with St. Lawrences defensive problems.
Lindsey threw a great game. In a game like this though, you cant afford to make errors and we just made too many mistakes today, said Larries coach Tim Brown.
Sarah Hembach paced Greenwich on the mound, limiting the Larries to three hits. She finished with six strikeouts and walked four, also hitting two batters.
It was a tight game, as it should be when youre in a regional final, said Greenwich coach Greg McGuirk. It was the kind of game you like to see. Both pitchers threw well but we came up with a few more plays when we needed to and that was the difference.
The Witches broke through in the second inning, scoring a pair of runs. Mariah Linnett and Samantha Whitehouse led off by drawing the only two walks Thayer issued. A wild pitch advanced both runners. Thayer struck out the next two batters but Jasmine James drilled a single to right field and both runners scored.
The Larries took advantage of two Greenwich errors to cut the lead to 2-1. Brandi Thomas reached first on an error and advanced on Thayers second single of the game. Haleigh Agans then hit a ground ball that was mishandled and allowed Thomas to score.
The Witches stretched their lead to 4-1 on a walk, a single and three errors. St. Lawrence responded with a run as Thomas was hit by a pitch, made it to third on a wild pitch and scored on Thayers ground-out.
In the sixth, the Witches went ahead on an error that scored Kali Nolan, who singled to start the rally.
Nolans run held up as St. Lawrence rallied for two runs in its final at-bat. Pinch-hitter Kelsey Newtown was hit by a pitch and replaced by pinch-runner Morgan Villnave, who went to third on a pair of wild pitches. She scored on a ground out by Thomas. Noelle Rufa later scored on an infield error to cut Greenwichs lead to 5-4. But Greenwich shortstop Ashleigh Maines fielded a grounder and stepped on second for a forceout to end the game.
They are a very good team. They took advantage of the chances we gave them but our kids battled hard right to the end, Brown said.
TROY 3, MALONE 1
Troy connected for a pair of runs in the third inning and that was just enough to support the pitching of eighth-grader Hunter Levesque as the Flying Horses moved on to the semifinal round in Queensbury.
Levesque struck out eight and gave up just one walk for Troy (22-2). She allowed a triple to Malones Morgan Fountain that led to the Huskies lone run in the third inning.
Troys standout defense extended beyond the mound as several standout plays in the field helped keep Malone at bay.
I thought that both teams were evenly matched, Malone coach Greg Marshall said.
Huskies pitcher Alissa McCauley held the Flying Horses scoreless through the first two innings despite threats each inning. Then in the third, Kiley Tucker opened the inning with an infield single and came around to score as Kaitlin Delsignore launched a triple into the right-center field gap. Delsignore trotted home as clean-up hitter Alina Germinero lofted a sacrifice fly to center.
Malone (14-5) cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning as Fountain tripled into right-center field and then scored on a wild pitch.
But Troy followed in the fourth with a run as Tucker reached on an error, stole second and scored on Delsignores second triple of the game.
McCauley struck out 10 and walked five for Malone.
Troy loaded the bases in the first inning as Levesque singled and Tucker and Adrian Shufelt walked. But McCauley struck out her second batter of the inning to end the rally.
Malone also threatened in the first as Fountain singled and Janelle Heden beat out a bunt to put runners on first and second with one out. But Levesque retired the next two batters on fly outs.
The Huskies, who do not graduate a single player on the roster, lost a potential rally in the fourth. After Katie Lamica worked a walk, Whitney Legacy followed with what she thought was a walk and Lamica trotted to second. But the umpire singled it was only ball three, so Legacy returned to the plate. Lamica, thinking it was a dead ball, trotted back to first, but pitcher Levesque threw to first baseman Shufelt to tag out Lamica. After a meeting of the umpires, Lamica was called out.