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Softball: Guilderland gets the jump on Bethlehem

Early runs propel Lady Dutch to Sectional title

Guilderland shortstop Tori Greco throws on to first base after getting Bethlehem's Erin O'Donnell out during the second inning of Friday's Section II Class AA championship game at Clifton Common.

Guilderland shortstop Tori Greco throws on to first base after getting Bethlehem's Erin O'Donnell out during the second inning of Friday's Section II Class AA championship game at Clifton Common. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— "Emma is a young pitcher," said Marino, who coaches Downing in summer softball. "She's a nice kid and does a nice job, but she doesn't have a lot of big game experience."

Guilderland struck for another run in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Lady Dutch might have had more were it not for a big play by Shade. With one out and Marino on second base following an RBI single, Harrigan launched another deep drive to center field. Shade ran back and caught the ball as her face hit the fence. As Gentile ran on to the field to check on Shade and Marino hesitated before making a bid for third base, Shade tossed the ball in to start an 8-7-6-5 double play that got Marino out.

"It was one of those weird instinctual things," said Gentile of her move onto the field before the play ended. "I thought she had cut herself badly."

Not only did Shade stay in the game, but she also singled to lead off the top of the fifth inning. Erin O'Donnell followed with a double, and they both came home on Addison Myers' single for the Lady Eagles' first two runs. Genevieve Paeglow added an RBI single to cut Guilderland's lead to 7-3.

"It was amazing that she (Shade) made that play, and then she came back the next inning and got that single," said Gentile.

Guilderland pitcher Taylor Tewksbury worked her way out of the fifth inning without further damage and shut out Bethlehem over the next two frames to earn the complete-game victory.

"I knew that (Shade catch and double play) was going to give them some energy, and I knew we would have to weather the storm," said Marino. "I just knew if we got out of that inning, we would be fine."

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