MALTA — The Bethlehem softball team upset No. 2 seed Columbia 11-4 on Thursday, May 30 and will play Colonie in the Section II, Class AA finals.
Bethlehem jumped out to an early lead with an RBI double in the first inning by Ana Lossee and came back with three runs in the second, three in the third and two more in the fourth to take a 9-0 lead.
Haley Nash went 2 for 4 with a home run and she scored twice for Bethlehem, Losee went 2 for 5 with a double and two RBIs, Clare Boegel went 2 for 4 with a run scored and Aurora Lagace went 2 for 4 with a run scored. Leadoff hitter Julia Rupinski went 1 for 4 but got on base four times and scored twice for Bethlehem, the No. 3 seed coming into the tournament.
Columbia tried to make a game of it, stringing together four runs in the sixth inning and getting a leadoff double in the seventh but it was too little too late.
Grace Bayly went 3 for 4 with a double to lead the Blue Devils offense.
Ana Cleary pitched to all but a few batters for Bethlehem — she was spelled by Sophia Miranda in the sixth but returned later that inning — and went 1 for 4 and scored twice on offense too. Columbia got the four runs on seven hits while walking twice and striking out five times. Cleary also pitched a complete game win the day before against Guilderland in the quarterfinals.
Bethlehem scored 11 runs on 11 hits while drawing six walks and striking out nine times.
Playing on a neighboring field, Colonie, the No. 4 seed, upset No. 1 seed Shen 4-3 to get to the finals.
Colonie and Bethlehem will play for the championship at the Luther Forest softball fields in Malta on Tuesday, June 4 at 5 p.m.
Click on a photo below to view a slideshow of the rest.