Softball: Shen shuts down Guilderland for title

— Erika Daigle did what no other pitcher in the Section II Class AA softball tournament could do: silence Guilderland's bats.

Daigle allowed only three runners to reach base as she pitched Shenendehowa to a 4-0 victory over the Lady Dutch in Friday's championship game at Veeder Park.

The top-seeded Plainswomen scored twice in the bottom of the fifth inning and added two more runs in the sixth to earn their berth into Tuesday's regional final at Veeder Park against the Section III champion.

"I am just very happy we got those runs," Daigle said. "When it was a scoreless game, I just knew I had to make great pitches. I threw a lot of screwballs and they just made little pop-ups, which is exactly what I wanted. My defense behind me was great. I was very happy when we got those runs. It took the pressure off me, and I could relax some and just make the pitches."

"This was a classic Section II final," said Shen coach Dan D'Amboise. "There was good pitching and great defense. Eventually, we got the hits."

Sixth-seeded Guilderland had scored 22 runs in its wins over Bethlehem in the quarterfinals and Colonie in the semifinals, but its hitters had a hard time connecting against Daigle.

"They have a great pitcher," said Guilderland coach Lou Marino. "She jammed us inside. and we couldn't get the hits we needed."

Guilderland pitcher Mallory Harrigan kept Shen scoreless until the fifth inning, when the Plainswomen put runners on second and third on two singles and a throwing error. Katie O'Gorman drove in Ali Kramer and Erin Buckley with a line-drive single over the shortstop's head to make the score 2-0.

"I hit a change-up that was low and bit outside, but I just knew it was my pitch. With two strikes on me, it was stressful," said O'Gorman. "I am very excited to contribute to this team's victory."

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