PLATTSBURGH - The girls of the Lake Placid softball team have seen their share of close games this year, but another comeback was not to be June 4 as they fell to Crown Point 6-3 in the Section VII Class D softball final.
The Blue Bombers had come from behind to defeat Indian Lake/Long Lake 5-4 June 2 to reach their first Sectional final in more than a decade. Chelsea Preston and Danielle Balestrini each had two hits in the dramatic victory.
They found themselves in a similar situation last Friday as the Panthers took an early 6-1 lead charged by double-RBI hits by Lauren Brace and Chelsea DuShane.
Alexis Nichols and the Blue Bombers' defense would hold Crown Point scoreless after the second inning, but Lake Placid struggled against Panthers ace Lindsay Brace, who relieved DuShane in the second.
"Alexis settled down nicely in the second inning," said Lake Placid head coach Donna Moody. "We had a couple errors that hurt us a little bit. Then after that, I thought we played well."
Morgan Caudill led off the sixth with a single down the first base line to spark a Lake Placid rally, coming home on a pass ball. Catherine Valentine singled and was brought in by a hit from Chelsea Preston before a strike out stranded runners at second and third.
"I knew they were going to be tough to beat," said Crown Point head coach Mike Ross. "I heard how they had come back against Keene and then against Indian Lake. I was just hoping we could put the fire out, and we did."
Balestrini led off with a base hit in the seventh, but the Blue Bombers were denied any further hits. Lindsay Brace finished with 11 strikeouts and two walks in five and two-third innings for Crown Point.
"I really felt like playing in the CVAC was very good for us," said Moody, noting how her team had faced some very good pitchers throughout the season. "I thought we were pretty well prepared in that sense. She pitched a very nice game."
Lauren Brace had two doubles for the Panthers. Jessica Potter and Alex Macey each added two hits.
Molly Ploof had two singles for Lake Placid while Jenna McGreevy added a double. Stephanie Murphy drove in a run with a single in the second.
Nichols struck out three and walked five in six innings in the loss.