SOUTH GLENS FALLS
The third out proved elusive for the Deposit softball team Saturday as a berth in the Class D state final slipped away.
Defending state champion Fort Ann of Section 2 scored four runs with two outs in the sixth inning and rallied for a 7-5 victory against the Lumberjacks in a New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D semifinal at Moreau Recreation Park.
Molly Bailey’s two-run single brought Fort Ann within one, and two batters later Kaleigh Foran smacked a two-run single of her own to give the Cardinals a 5-4 lead. Fort Ann tacked on two runs in the top of the seventh to go up by three.
“We talked that you’ve got to get three outs in an inning,” Deposit coach Ed Swartwout said. “Two is not good enough. You can’t stop playing when you have two, you’ve got to play all three.
“At this point in time, I’m nothing but proud of my kids. They’ve had a great year. They’re very young. I’m confident with a lot more hard work we’ll be back here and the results will be different next time.”
Fort Ann (20-1) beat Heuvelton 8-2 in the championship game later in the day.
Deposit finished with a 19-7 record, including its third Section 4 Class D title in the past four years. The Lumberjacks were seeking to follow in footsteps of the school’s 1989 and 1990 softball teams as state champions.
“I told the kids, ‘This is going to hurt and this is going to hurt for a while, but I want you to think about all the accomplishments you’ve made this year,’ ” Swartwout said. “Our seniors, Shelby (Petterson) and Haley (Linkroum), how many kids get to say they were a participant on three sectional championship softball teams?”
Deposit scored three runs in the fourth to break a 1-all tie, with Fort Ann’s first run coming on a two-out throwing error in the third inning after the Lumberjacks scored in the second. Petterson drove home the first run in the fourth with a single and Aubrin Smith followed with a two-run double.
The three-run lead held until the sixth, when Deposit pitcher Kassi Cook hit Demi Stockman with two outs to load the bases. Bailey and Foran followed with their two-run singles, with a walk sandwiched in between.
Smith led off the bottom of the seventh with her second double for Deposit and scored on a fielder’s choice before Bailey, the Cardinals’ pitcher, induced the final out on a fly ball to left field.
Smith and Petterson each had two hits for Deposit, which collected seven hits. Deposit was a 10-3 winner over Fort Ann in the state semifinals two years ago before falling in the title game.
“We faced them two years ago and we seemed to find the gaps and we seemed to hit the ball hard and not right at people,” Swartwout said. “Today we hit the ball pretty well, but they are an amazing-hitting team. Everybody in their lineup, if they didn’t have a hit they put the ball in play and they put the ball in play hard.”