SARANAC LAKE - Chelsea LaFountain did in her rival again.
As a junior a year ago on the Saranac Lake softball team, LaFountain launched a pitch over the left-field fence for a late three-run homer that helped the Red Storm defeat Lake Placid.
On Monday, April 30, LaFountain came through again, although the blast wasn't quite as big. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, LaFountain sent teammate Gabby Lewis home with the winning run on a fielder's-choice play to complete Saranac Lake's 8-7 comeback victory over the Blue Bombers.
Lou Reuter/Lake Placid News
Serina Hayes swings at an oncoming pitch during a CVAC softball game against Saranac Lake on Monday, April 30. Hayes went 3-for-4 at the plate in the contest.
Trailing 7-4, the Red Storm rallied with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to deadlock the score and then walked off with the win in their final at-bat. Lewis reached base in the seventh with a one-out walk, was knocked to third on a single by Sydney Battistoni and scored on a hard grounder LaFountain hit between first and second base.
Just like last season when the two teams met in Saranac Lake, the Red Storm pounded out 12 hits and LaFountain finished with four RBI. With the win, Saranac Lake evened its record Champlain Valley Athletic Conference record at 3-3 while Lake Placid dropped to 2-2.
Things went Lake Placid's way early. The Blue Bombers scored twice in their first at-bat as Ayla Thompson and Dani Balestrini crossed the plate, and they upped their lead to 4-0 in the top of the third, with Balestrini scoring again and Adele Jesmer also reaching home. The Red Storm then took advantage of three straight walks and a double by LaFountain in the bottom of the third to score three times and cut their deficit to 4-3.
Saranac Lake then tied the contest at 4-4 in the fourth on a run by catcher Christina Rabideau, who reached base in all four of her trips to the plate. She walked three times, rapped out a single and accounted for three Red Storm runs.
Lake Placid broke the tie and surged back in front with three runs in the fifth, with Serina Hayes, Jesmer and Kelsey Taylor scoring. In the frame, the Blue Bombers got back-to-back singles from Hayes and Jesmer, stole two bases and took advantage of three wild pitches to regain the edge.
Saranac Lake answered in its next at-bat, getting runs from Jordy McDougall, Rabideau and Megan Kilroy to deadlock the contest at 7-7 and set the stage for the late-game drama. With Viscardo visibly tiring, Schwartz brought Tschirhart off the bench to pitch, and she was effective enough to get the job done by shutting out the Blue Bombers in the sixth and seventh innings. She whiffed one batter in the sixth and another in the seventh in her winning effort.
Brooke Reid was Lake Placid's starting pitcher. She worked five innings and struck out two and was replaced by Serina Hayes, who took the loss. Hayes had a strong performance at the plate, going 2-for-4 and knocking in two runs. Jesmer also swatted a pair of singles for Lake Placid and Haley Brandes also singled in the loss.
"I thought we played well," Lake Placid coach Donna Moody said. "We took advantage of situations as did Saranac Lake. Sometimes you play well and lose the game, and that's what happened today. That's softball."
Although Saranac Lake emerged the winner, the game had no bearing on the standings, as the two rivals compete in different classes. Still, Schwartz said the victory was an important one for her squad, which will next square off against Class B foe Plattsburgh on the road Wednesday.
"This win got us back to .500," Schwartz said. "It was a good win for our girls. I think it's a nice confidence booster as we get back to playing Class B teams."
Saranac Lake 8, Lake Placid 7
|Blue Bombers||202 030 0 — 7 6 1|
|Red Storm||003 130 1 — 8 12 3|
Reid, Hayes (6) and Balestrini. Viscardo, Tschirhart (6) and Rabideau. WP - Tschirhart. LP - Hayes. 2B - LaFountain (SL).