Banner Season in Ballston Spa Ends w/Exhaustion & a State Title
A high school softball game is a neatly wrapped package of plays that often lasts only an hour and a half. Not on Saturday morning though. Not in a state semifinal matchup before Ballston Spa and Sayville.
A 9am first pitch was a distant memory when the two teams in Class A went deep into extra innings. Four hours and 20 innings to be exact. After seven innings came and went without any runs on the scoreboard, undefeated Sayville got a run in the top of the eighth before Ballston Spa's Angelina Stile saved the day and the season. With the Scotties down to their last out, the senior catcher hit a solo home run over the fence in left to tie the game and push it into history. NYSPHSAA eliminated the international tiebreaker rule this season and so instead of placing a runner at second base to start an inning in extra innings, the pitching duel survived several scoring chances until the 20th inning.
That's when Ana Gold came to the plate with a runner in scoring position and despite the sophomore shortstop's struggles in this semifinal game, Gold came through with the game-winning RBI single to left field and Ballston Spa beat Sayville 2-1.
Less than two hours after the conclusion of that semifinal at 1pm, the Scotties were back on the field with the title on the line against Williamsville East. Lauren Kersch pitched all twenty innings for Ballston Spa and she threw every pitch in the championship game. Whether fatigue was to blame or not, Kersch allowed back to back home runs in the third inning and the Scotties' season came to an end, 3-0.
For the baseball team in Ballston Spa, it was a different, happier result in the state championship game. After winning their semifinal game on Friday, the Scotties' historic season ended with an exclamation mark. Manager Curtis Nobles led BSpa to its first sectional title since 1973 and a 13-6 win over Maine-Endwell gave his squad the Class A New York State plaque to hoist. It is the first state championship for the Ballston Spa baseball program. Waiting for the Scotties when they returned from Binghamton: a parade and prom.