LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid softball team got a strong pitching performance from Serina Hayes and was flawless in the field May 20 on the way to a 6-0 victory over Moriah.
It was the sixth victory in a row for the Blue Bombers, who finished the regular season 9-5 in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference games and 10-5 overall.
The Blue Bombers were slated to open the Section VII, Class C tournament at home May 23 against AuSable Valley, a team they have beaten twice this season but only by one run in each game. This was the best Champlain Valley Athletic Conference season ever for Lake Placid.
Photos by Alicia Brandes
The Lake Placid softball team held its senior recognition game May 20 against Moriah on the North Elba field. Coaches Greg Hayes, left, and Donna Moody joined the players for this photo. Senior players, from left, are Serina Hayes, Makenzee Bruce, Haley Brandes, Brooke Reid and Kelsey Taylor.
Against Moriah, Hayes was on fire, striking out 15 batters without issuing a walk over seven innings of work. She gave up just two hits, a double to Madison Stahl in the second inning and a single to Lauren Brace in the seventh.
The Lakc Placid offense built a lead in the meantime, scoring three in the first and single runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings. Taylor Maiorca went 2-for-3 with two singles and Adele Jesmer connected for a double. Kelsey Taylor, Haley Brandes and Hayes each chipped in singles.
Lake Placid 10, Northern Adirondack 6
LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid softball team scored nine runs in its final two at-bats May 24 to secure a 10-6 victory over Northern Adirondack.
Lake Placid trailed 6-1 going into the bottom of the fifth inning then scored three runs in the fifth and six more in the sixth to lock up its fifth win in a row.
Taylor Maiorca, Lizzie Bimonte, Brooke Reid and Alexis Megliore had two hits apiece for the Blue Bombers, who had 11 hits as a team. Kelsey Taylor, Serina Hayes and Bimonte each doubled.
Hayes pitched all seven innings to earn the win in the circle.
Amanda Campbell tripled to account for one of the four Northern Adirondack hits.
Lake Placid 5, AuSable Valley 4
LAKE PLACID - The Blue Bombers notched their fourth straight win May 23, claiming a 5-4 victory over AuSable Valley in a game played under the lights in Lake Placid. The win gave Lake Placid a two-game regular season sweep over the Patriots, and more importantly, it put the Blue Bombers in the driver's seat in terms of hosting a first-round Class C playoff matchup, which will be against the Patriots.
In the first meeting between the teams this spring, Lake Placid had to go eight innings to defeat the Patriots. This time, the Blue Bombers escaped with a walk-off victory by breaking a 4-4 tie in their final at-bat. Senior Brooke Reid came home with the winning run when Liz Bimonte batted her in from third base on an infield hit.
AuSable Valley put the Blue Bombers into an early hole by scoring two runs in the top of the first, and Lake Placid then grabbed a 4-2 edge with a a run in the third and three more in the fourth. The Patriots then scored twice in their next at-bat to knot the contest and after a scoreless sixth inning, the Blue Bombers won it in a walkoff.
"AuSable Valley has a good team, they've been on a hot streak, and we've been pretty hot, too," Blue Bombers head coach Donna Moody said. "I don't think we got off to a very good start, but I certainly have to credit our kids. They kept fighting. When it was tied in the bottom of the seventh, our girls had the confidence we could go out and win it."
With each team's ace - AuSable Valley's Madison Rondeau and Lake Placid's Serina Hayes - going the distance, there were just a combined eight hits in the contest, with five coming off the Blue Bombers' bats. Kelsey Taylor paced Lake Placid with a double and a single, Hayes added a double and Bimonte and Alexis Megliore chipped in a single each in the win.
Catcher Kendra Niemann doubled for the Patriots and Miranda Sheffer and Logan Snow tacked on a single apiece.
With the score tied at 4-4, the drama began to build as both teams looked for the go-ahead run. The Patriots gunned down two runners at the plate during Lake Placid's at-bats in the bottom of the fifth and sixth, and the Blue Bombers returned the favor in the top of the seventh when centerfielder Haley Brandes threw out a runner in the top of the seventh.
Reid got on board in the bottom of the seventh with a lead-off walk, and then stole second base. The senior then reached third on a passed ball before scoring the winning run on Bimonte's grounder.
"We struggled on defense early in the season, but we've shored that up and we have a lot of girls who can hit," Moody said. "Sending our kids home in the fifth and sixth, that might not have been the best coaching decision, but we always have the philosophy that you have to be aggressive. If there's a chance, we're going to go for it."
"This was a well-played game by both teams," AuSable Valley coach Marty Snow said. "It's always close and it's always fun when we play Lake Placid. Their pitcher did a good job and their centerfielder made a great throw to the plate. I'm looking forward to seeing them again in the playoffs. I just wish it could be on our field."
Hayes and Rondeau combined for 17 strikeouts in the contest, with Rondeau fanning nine batters while taking the loss.