CLIFTON PARK — Defense won another championship Friday, providing coaches everywhere one more example to point to when stressing fundamentals to a team.
Shenendehowa won the Section II Class AA softball championship behind pitcher Abby Shields, turning a few stellar plays to keep Shaker off the board in a 7-0 win at Clifton Common.
Shields completed the 21-inning run through the sectional tournament without allowing a run. She struck out three Shaker batters, walked two and hit two with pitches. She tried to get them to chase outside, in the dirt and some pitches eye-high, and her catcher Cailey Cuttita was there to stop every one of them.
In the top of the third inning, Shen center fielder Ashley Sisto made a diving catch in the left field gap to rob Shaker's Tammy Callahan of a leadoff double, which would have been the Blue Bison's first hit of the game. In the top of the seventh with two on and two out, Shen shortstop Nicole McCarvill ranged to her right to make a stop, then had the wherewithal to make the only play she had, making the off-balance toss to third to just beat a sliding Hannah Johnson for the final out.
The Lady Plainsmen (21-2) advance to state regional play the Section III winner on the road next Friday.