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High school softball: OFA pounds Canton to take section title

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POTSDAM — The most notable thing about the Ogdensburg Free Academy softball team’s Northern Athletic Conference season was two high-scoring wins over reigning Section 10 Class B champion Canton.

The Blue Devils made it a trifecta against the Golden Bears, securing the Section 10 Class B Championship with a 21-1 five-inning mercy-rule victory Friday. OFA forged a memorable 16-run third inning on the fast track of the SUNY Potsdam softball complex.

“We are just so excited, we really worked hard and we really wanted this,” said junior catcher Mollee Ahrens in a wild celebration as every member of the young Blue Devil squad experienced their first Section 10 Championship in any sport.

They also celebrated the opportunity to host a state quarterfinal game back at SUNY Potsdam on June 7. They will host the winner of a regional game between the Section 2 and Section 7 champions at 5 p.m. for the right to play in the state semifinals.

The Bue Devils (8-6) scored four runs in the second inning as a prelude to the marathon bottom of the third inning. Jenny Dalton cruised to a six-strikeout four-hitter.

“I have caught Jenny for three years and she pitched the way she always does,” said Ahrens who threw out a runner stealing and teamed with fellow junior Riley Luckie to lead an OFA team that featured seven first-year starters.

“She just kept throwing hard and moving the ball up and down and in an out.”

The Devils also enjoyed fine location with their contact hitting. They consistently found the holes and forced Canton into defensive mistakes. They alsoreceived a power surge from Jillian Lincoln. The sophomore third baseman belted a two-run triple and a grand slam home run in the third inning and drove the ball to deep rightfield in both at-bats.

“Mr. Henry always tells me to hit my pitch. I did that today, both pitches were right down the middle.” said Lincoln of OFA coach Mark Henry. “It just fells amazing and now we have a week of practice to work on a lot of things. That will really help us.”

Kristen Snyder (three singles, RBI, three runs) and Dalton (two singles) ignited the second and third innings with back-to-back singles.

Every member of the batting order hit safely or scored a run.

Riley Luckie singled twice and drove in four runs. Taylor Perry rapped an RBI double, and Ahrens was hit by pitch twice with the bases loaded and picked up her third RBI with a single. Kayli Downie stroked two RBI singles in the 16-run third and Alicia Sharpe scored four runs on the day.

“We have been a good contact hitting team all season. We haven’t struck out much. We are jelling as a team right now,” coach Henry said.

“We did a great job putting the ball in play today, and Jenny Dalton just pounded the strike zone,” Henry said.

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