A lefty made everything all right for the Cooperstown softball team Thursday.
Christina Noto’s RBI triple to left field with one out in the bottom of the seventh gave top-seeded Cooperstown a 3-2 home victory over No. 8 seed Thousand Islands in a Section Three Class C-1 quarterfinal.
“She had hit four or five balls to left field every at-bat,” Cooperstown coach Dave Bliss said of Noto, who also tripled in the third inning but was later thrown out at the plate on a fielder’s choice. “She scorched a rocket that was caught in the first inning, she tripled in the third and she hit another hard ball to left in the fifth. We gave the left fielder a lot of work today. They were playing deep because we were hitting the ball hard there all day long.”
Noto sent her walkoff triple over the left fielder to plate Jennifer Flynn, who singled to center with one out.
“The left fielder misjudged it just a hair because she took a couple of steps in at first,” Bliss said of the winning hit, which allowed Flynn to score the winning run without a play at the plate.
State-ranked Cooperstown (19-0) gave winning pitcher Nicole Cring a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Alannah Haggerty singled and scored on a triple by Maggie Hall, who made it 2-0 after Lexi Duda popped up to the first-base side.
“The catcher, the first baseman and the pitcher all went for it and left home plate open,” Bliss said. “The first baseman dropped it, but Maggie probably would have scored even if she caught it because nobody was covering the plate.”
Thousand Islands took advantage of two Cooperstown errors in the fourth to put runners at second and third against winning pitcher Nicole Cring. Although she struck out the next batter, Cring threw a wild pitch to allow one run to score. Thousand Islands then tied it on a passed ball charged to catcher Erin Hascup with two out.