SL softball grabs share of league lead
SARANAC LAKE – In a showdown for a share of first place in the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference, the Saranac Lake softball team outhit and out defended visiting Plattsburgh to claim 6-2 victory Wednesday on the Red Storm’s home field at the Civic Center.
All nine players in the Saranac Lake lineup contributed in their team’s 16-hit attack, and the Red Storm defense also turned two double plays in the field to win their third straight game and improve to 7-1 in the league. The Hornets (5-2 CVAC) scored their only two runs during their first at-bat.
Megan Moody paced Saranac Lake’s offense, going 3-for-4 at the plate with three singles. Nicole Viscardo also contributed a double and a single, Sydney Battistoni had two singles and two RBI, Jen McGuoirk, Brittany Tschirhart and Brittany Woodruff added two singles each, and Jordy McDougall, Megan Kilroy and Melissa Moody rapped out one single apiece.
“The last couple of practices, we focused on swinging bats and it paid off,” Saranac Lake head coach Diana Schwartz said. “The girls are doing a great job and I couldn’t be happier for them.”
With the win, Saranac Lake kept pace with the Saranac Chiefs as the only one-loss teams remaining in the conference. The Hornets entered Wednesday’s matchup after knocking Saranac out of the unbeaten ranks on a walk-off, two-run homer by Cieara Duquette in a game played Saturday.
“This was a big game. This was a huge game,” Plattsburgh head coach Neil Bowlen said. “We were coming off a very emotional win in our last game, and we got off to a nice start today. We just didn’t play the way we are capable of. We made some mistakes defensively.”
The Hornets had their share of hits and finished with 11, but the Red Storm played strong in the field. Saranac Lake again benefitted by effective pitching from Tschirhart and Viscardo, and got some sparkling play in the infield and outfield throughout the contest. Woodruff, who lines up at second base, had a standout performance and was named the Red Storm’s player of the game.
Plattsburgh jumped out to a 2-0 edge in the top of the first inning on runs scored by Madison Tremblay and Karlie Neal. The Hornets strung together three straight singles in the frame and were threatening to score more, but Tschirhart was able to fan two of the last three batters she faced to get out of the inning.
The Red Storm took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the second inning. McGuorik, Tschirhart and Kilroy each reached base in the frame with singles and eventually crossed the plate for a 3-2 Saranac Lake lead. Viscardo then doubled to start the bottom of the third inning and was sent home on a Battistoni sacrifice grounder to push the hosts’ lead to 4-2. Woodruff scored in the fourth inning and McGuoirk crossed the plate in the sixth to account for Saranac Lake’s final two runs.
Tschirhart started in the pitcher’s circle and worked four innings to earn the win before Viscardo took over in the fifth.
Neale had a big day at the plate, pacing Plattsburgh with four hits. Madison Bushey rapped out a double and two singles for the Hornets, and Kolbi Lyon, Duquette, Bailey Horrey and Amanda McMahon chipped in a single each in the loss.
Plattsburgh ace Jamie Bedard went the distance and suffered the pitching loss.
“It’s been back and forth between our team and Saranac Lake,” Bowlen said. “They have a lot of seniors and we have a lot of seniors, and they’ve been going at it for a long time. Today, Saranac Lake played great defense and they hit the ball. They have some sticks, that’s for sure.”
Both teams have tough matchups on tap. Plattsburgh will travel to face Saranac today in a makeup game. The Chiefs enter the matchup after edging Northeastern Clinton Wednesday 1-0 to maintain their tie for the league lead with Saranac Lake. The Red Storm next plays Monday at home against NCCS.
Saranac Lake 6, Plattsburgh 2
Tschirhart, Viscardo (5) and McGouirk. J. Bedard and Neale. WP – Tschirhart. LP – J. Bedard. 2B – Bushey. Viscardo (SL).