QUEENSBURY — Afton got the drop on Fort Ann, but the Crimson Knights’ softball season ended with a 5-2 loss in the Class D state championship game Saturday at the Adirondack Sports Complex.
Connor Decker’s RBI groundout in the first inning gave Afton the early lead, but winning pitcher Molly Bailey didn’t allow another run until the top of the seventh as Fort Ann completed a 25-0 season with its first state title since 2006.
The Cardinals tied the score in the second inning and took the lead for keeps with a three-run fourth against losing pitcher Cassidy Phillips, who was relieved by Payton Cutting in the fifth.
“They put the ball in play and we hit it right at them,” 26th-year Afton coach Cindy Bostelman said.
The Crimson Knights (22-2) struck first, though.
Ashley Rogalski led off the championship game with a bunt-single and advanced to third on a one-out single by Cutting. Rogalski then scored on Decker’s groundout.
Fort Ann tied it in the second as Kaleigh Foran stretched a leadoff shot to right field into a triple and scored on a groundout by Jordan Aubin.
The teams remained deadlocked until the fourth, which started with a leadoff single to right field by Kayla Bancroft. Bri Amodio followed with a one-out single before Aubin reached on a fielder’s choice that erased Bancroft at third. Phillips then walked Mikayla Graves, setting up Kimmi Ostrander for a two-run single to center field that also sent Graves to third. A passed ball allowed Graves to score, giving Fort Ann a 4-1 lead.
Bailey allowed one baserunner in a scoreless fifth before Bostelman switched pitchers. Kara White greeted Cutting with a double off the shortstop’s glove and Bancroft followed with a one-out tomahawk single to left field that extended the Cardinals’ lead to 5-1.