Hammond’s Zoey Cunningham rounds second on her way to touching them all for a homerun. (Lisa Arquitt Photo)

CANTON — In a preseason softball doubleheader at Canton’s Ike Noble Field facility the Golden Bears and Hammond split. Canton won the first game 8-1 and Hammond took the nightcap 7-6 in the first games of the season.

On Thursday back at Ike Noble Field the Golden Bears and Red Devils will play the final game of the 2021 season meeting for the first overall Overall Section 10 championship game staged since 1985.

The second game of the twin bill proved to be one of only two losses for 15-2 Canton which went on to win the NAC Central Division title and the Section 10 Class B crown. Hammond (14-3) went on to place second to Heuvelton in the NAC West and won the Class D crown with an amazing 10-8 nine inning victory over the Bulldogs.

The Class D Red Devils advanced with a 6-3 win over Class A Champion Massena on Wednesday while Class B Champion Canton moved into the historic game with a 5-4 victory over Class C Champion St. Lawrence Central.

“It would definitely be historic and a great way for our season to end and a great way for our seniors (Avery Kenyon, Hailey Cunningham, Jordan Kloepping) to go out,” said Hammond Coach Katina Dillon.

The three seniors showed their dedication to the game and their team cutting their senior trip short to come home and play the game and play keyed roles in the victory.

A victory anchored in a four-run fifth inning to back a signature performance by Sydney Tanner who used outstanding location on her pitches to record nine strikeouts in scattering eight hits by Massena. The Raiders (13-3) scored a single run in the second inning and two in the seventh.

“We played an outstanding defensive game with a nice double play and Sydney Tanner pitched a great game. She has pitched well all season but today she went beyond anything she has done before,” said Coach Dillon.

“And she is only a 10th grader. After the game her grandfather, Dave Marsaw, treated the team to pizza. That is the way our community is, people always support the kids.”

The decisive fifth inning started with Lily Towne singling and Zoey Cunningham belting a one out homerun. After two outs Avery Kenyon singled, Alyvia Crosby was hit by a pitch and Hannah Belknap and Ava Howie singled.

Kenyon made a series of athletic putouts at shortstop and alertly covered thirdbase on a double play where Crosby threw a runner out from thirdbase and Brooklyn Arquitt threw back across the diamond where Kenyon tagged out a base runner.

Kenyon also tripled in the game to round out Hammond’s six hits against talented Massena hurler Caitlyn Reed.

Three of Massena’s eight hits came in the seventh inning where: Jayln Cook, Reed and Ainsley Cromie singled.

Cromie doubled and singled in the game and Reed and Isabelle Wilson each singled twice. Grace Trimboli also singled for Massena.

Bears Deny SLC

Canton capitalized on four straight walks in the sixth inning to score three runs and come from behind against an aggressive, young St. Lawrence Central team which scored three times in the first inning on singles by Rylee Daoust and McKenna Bowles. Cassie Lalonde, Danaye Ramsdell and Chantel McCarthy also singled for SLC which received a complete game effort by pitcher Hannah Agans.

Ava Hoy picked up the win for Canton pitching two scoreless innings of relief after replacing starter Hadley Alguire. Hoy and Sydnee Francis singled for Canton’s hits in the game.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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