Sullivan's off-speed pitches fool Shen in softball final

Still, Gentile was uneasy about her team's two-run advantage.

"You can never have enough runs, and we left a couple of players on base," said Gentile. "One [insurance run] is never enough."

Shen carved into that lead in the top of the fifth inning. Kate Traver hit a leadoff double and scored on Lea Cook's one-out double to make the score 2-1.

Bethlehem's defense came to Sullivan's rescue, though. Right fielder McKenzie Pezze caught Caitlin Lawson's fly ball, and first baseman Kat Rice fielded a slow roller from Melissa Morgan to end Shen's rally.

"I just wanted to get out of that inning because we still had the lead [at that point]," said Sullivan.

Shen kept Bethlehem off the scoreboard in the fifth and sixth innings, but it couldn't get another rally going against Sullivan.

"We've been hitting so well for the last few games that we thought we'd get that Shaker inning where we'd score three or four runs, but it didn't happen," said D'Amboise.

The victory capped a long journey for Bethlehem's senior class " Rice, Mary Beth Dombrowski and Meghan Burns " from a middle-of-the-pack Suburban Council team to Sectional champions. The Lady Eagles reached last year's Class AA final before losing to Colonie " a team that they defeated 3-1 in last Wednesday's semifinal game to advance to the championship game.

"We had to beat the best to be the best," said Gentile. "We had to go through the top two twams in Colonie and Shen to do it."

Sullivan was the one who put Bethlehem over the top, though. She allowed only two runs and nine hits between the semifinal and championship games to guide the Lady Eagles to the Sectional title.

"This team didn't finish it last year, so it was fun for me to come in and help them finish it this year," said Sullivan.

Bethlehem advanced to Tuesday's Class AA regional at Section III champion Cicero-North Syracuse. Check www.spottlightnews.com for results from the regional game.""

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