CANTON — The Canton softball team used a big fifth inning to put away Gouverneur 11-2 in an Northern Athletic Conference Central Division game Wednesday afternoon.
Canton (11-1 overall, 11-0 division) held a 3-1 lead before scoring seven runs and almost ended the game via the mercy rule.
“One inning killed us again this time,” Gouverneur coach Rick Wood said. “They came to play. In the first game (against Canton) we were kind of in-an-out. I’m very happy with the way we played. It is an 11-2 loss but we still were in the game and that’s what I want.”
The Golden Bears built an early 3-0 lead relying on small ball.
Sydnee Francis led off the bottom of the first inning reaching on a bunt, stole second, went to third on a fielder’s choice and scored on a throwing error.
In the bottom of the second, Emma Logan reached on a one-out bunt single, went to third base on a bunt single from Courtney Peters and both scored on another throwing error.
Gouverneur (6-3) answered in the top of the third with a two-out triple from Renisa Richards. She scored on a single from Chloe Smith to make it 3-1.
Canton sent 13 batters to the plate in the fifth when it broke free for seven runs.
Tessa Alguire led off with a walk, followed by a bunt single from her older sister, Hadley Alguire, Olivia Sero followed with a walk and was replaced with pinch runner Chloe Baxter.
A one-out walk to Katie Metcalf scored Tessa Alguire and then a single from catcher Maya Thomas scored Hadley Alguire, followed by a single from Logan that scored Sero and Maddie Mitchell, who was running for Metcalf.
Thomas scored on a walk to Courtney Peters and Logan scored on a walk to Francis to conclude the scoring.
“The whole team has been working so hard this year at getting on base and being aggressive on base,” Thomas said. “It makes me excited (to get hits) because I can help the team out.”
Gouverneur scored in the sixth, again sparked by Richards, who picked up her second hit of the game, a single, and scored on a double from Elizabeth Riutta.
The Golden Bears added one more run in the sixth inning when Metcalf drew a walk, was replaced again by Mitchell, who scored on a fielder’s choice.
Hadley Alguire pitched the first six innings for Canton, giving up two runs on five hits. She struck out seven, and she finished 2-for-3 at the plate.
“We all worked really hard in the offseason so it’s really excited when we all come together,” said Hadley Alguire, who will play for SUNY Brockport next year. “I had faith in my teammates. I throw whatever and trust that they can back me up.”
Thomas and Logan also finished with two hits for Canton. Thomas also caught the entire game and has emerged as a solid replacement for last year’s catcher Cate DeCoteau, who graduated, even wearing the same No. 17.
“If you had seen (Thomas) catch last summer, versus now, she has improved so much,” Canton coach Mike Wentworth said. “Her biggest thing is staying focused. She has a cannon for an arm, good hands, and she’s strong. I think she’s doing great and will only get better I think.”
Ava Hoy came in for the seventh inning and struck out two to finish the game.
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