Fort Ann coach Tim Gleason regarded his team’s mid-April non-league loss to Loudonville Christian School as a win-win situation.
A bigger win came Thursday, when the Adirondack League champion knocked off the unbeaten Lady Eagles, 11-4, in the Section II Class D championship game at Moreau Rec.
Sophomore third baseman Kaleigh Foran went 4-for-4 and drove in five runs, her third-inning double plating three teammates as the 15-5 Lady Cardinals became the first team to beat LCS senior Alex Rollis this season.
Rollis and her teammates had beaten Fort Ann, 8-2, in their previous meeting, and took a 19-0 record into the school’s first sectional final.
“It was a win-win situation for us,” said Gleason of the teams’ first meeting. “We were going to see good pitching. If we win, awesome. If we lose, we’ve seen good pitching.
“They took it to us. I think the girls filed that in the back of their heads, and used that to motivate themselves.”
Foran was ready for her second shot at Rollis, who threw six no-hitters (one a perfect game) in leading Loudonville Christian School to a 16-0 Central Hudson Valley League season and the No. 1 seed for the Class D tournament.
“I felt comfortable at the plate. I was just ready to hit the ball. I wanted to do whatever I could,” said Foran, who came up with the game’s biggest hit after Lady Eagles coach Carrie Hagwell opted to load the bases by walking Kayla Bancroft, who homered in her first at bat.
Foran drove a high 2-0 pitch deep to left, giving her team a 4-1 lead.
“Kayleigh’s had that situation a couple of times this season,” said Gleason. “I look at it as a sign of total respect for Kayla Bancroft, and Kayleigh Foran’s got to be ready to make them pay. She really came through.”
Hagwell felt Bancroft’s solo homer was not an insurmountable obstacle.
“We were OK. It was only one run,” said Hagwell, who is stepping down after seven seasons. “The same thing happened to us [in the semifinal] against Germantown, and we came back. Our bats just weren’t as efficient today.”
“Anything can happen,” said Rollis, who gave up a season-high in runs and hits (12). “They hit the ball today.”
Making it even more disappointing for the league MVP was knowing it could be her final competitive softball game. She will begin studying at Kings’ College in the fall, a school that does not have softball.
“We really wanted to win a sectional title,” said Rollis. “It’s hard for me, because this could be the last time I pitch.”
Fort Ann, 15-5, will travel to SUNY-Plattsburgh for a Tuesday regional semifinal against the Section VII champion.
South Glens Falls scored a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to beat Averill Park, 3-1, in the Class A final at Moreau Rec.
Molly Fryer, who went 3-for-4, drove in a first-inning run to give the 11-11 Lady Warriors the lead.
The 20-0 Lady Bulldogs, who won their 13th sectional title since 1997, will play Section X champ Malone at 4 p.m. Monday at the Adirondack Sports Complex in a regional semifinal.
Shenendehowa and Guilderland meet for the Section II Class AA championship today at 4:30 at Veeder Park in Colonie.
The 21-1 top-seeded Lady Plainsmen beat Catholic Central, 8-2, in the semifinals. The sixth-seeded Lady Dutch improved to 14-7 with a 6-0 win over No. 2 seed Colonie in the semis.
Shenendehowa won the team’s only Suburban Council meeting, 1-0, in early April, as Erika Daigle threw a one-hitter.
Guilderland took out defending champ and No. 3 seed Bethlehem, 16-15, in the quarterfinals before Mallory Harrigan, who gave up all 15 runs in the quarters, two-hit Colonie.
Wasaren League rivals Greenwich (15-8, fifth seed) and Hoosic Valley (14-6, third seed) meet for the Class C title at 6 at Veeder.
Sarah Heimbach hit a grand slam to help Greenwich, a 2011 state semifinalist, beat top-seeded Mechanicville, 7-5, in the semifinals.
The Lady Indians downed Albany Academy, 1-0, in 10 innings, to get to the final.
Chatham and Ichabod Crane play for the Class B title at 4:30 at Veeder Park.
Joelle Salisbury had three doubles and five RBI as Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons beat Bishop Maginn, 20-0, to finish 10-2 in the Big 10 and create a three-way tie for first place with Troy and Catholic Central.
The 12-4 Lady Knights play at Troy today, with the winner meeting Catholic Central on Monday for the league title.
SOUTH GLENS FALLS 3, AVERILL PARK 1
Averill Park 100 000 0 — 1 8 2
South Glens Falls 100 002 x — 3 4 4
Wood and Hagerty; Sullivan and Sharpe.
FORT ANN 11, LOUDONVILLE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 4
Fort Ann 104 015 0 — 11 12 2
Loudonville Chr. 202 000 0 — 4 3 2
Bailey and Goodspeed; Rollis and Stephano.
ND-BG 20, MAGINN 0
ND-BG 30(10) 52 — 20 20 0
Bishop Maginn 00 0 00 — 0 2 8
Bouchard and A.Salisbury; Lane, Hupe (4) and DiBiase.