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Ti claims Class C crown

PLATTSBURGH —Winning is sweet. It’s even sweeter with a chip on your shoulder.

After being upset by Northeastern Clinton in sectionals last season, Ticonderoga had its eyes on the prize this year.

“I can’t even put into words how good it feels,” junior third baseman Sophia Johndrow said. “A lot of adrenaline and rush — it’s really exciting.”

The Ticonderoga Sentinels girl’s softball team (16-1) defeated the Northern Adirondack Bobcats (7-6) by a score of 10-4 in the Section VII Class C Championship at Cardinal Park, Wednesday.

“We wanted it just as much as we did last year, but I think we just worked a lot harder with it this year,” Johndrow said.

Ticonderoga senior pitcher Myleigh Drinkwine and Bobcat second baseman McKenna Bushey earned each team’s respective Player of the Game.

Bushey went 3-4 at the plate, including a double, and notching two runs, two stolen bases and two RBIs.

Drinkwine faced 29 batters, recording 34 strikes and six strikeouts.

“She pitched a great game and we’ve talked about all year just finishing games,” Head Coach Eric Mullen said. “It’s a bigger relief this year when we get to that seventh inning. I’m not on pins in needles like in the past.”

Ticonderoga has relied on senior Drinkwine all season — she’s thrown four shutouts and recorded an ERA of 1.93. Her success was crucial again today and it showed early.

Drinkwine retired the Bobcat’s top three hitters to start the game and got her defense off the field.

The Sentinels took advantage, creating an early deficit for the Bobcats. Leadoff hitter and senior center fielder Jaelyn Whitford hit a single and was almost immediately advanced to third base when junior catcher Addy Moore ripped off a double. A single by Mattison and a flyout by Drinkwine brought both runners home.

NAC seventh grade pitcher Olivia Minckler struck out Johndrow to end the inning. Minckler had a strong day despite the older competition — she faced 33 batters, recording 37 strikes and striking out three.

In the top of the second, Drinkwine and the Ticonderoga defense continued to snuff the NAC offense, again getting out the next three.

To finish the inning, Ticonderoga left fielder Isabelle Burroughs hit a triple facing a full count and was brought home by junior Jazlyn Disbrow during the next at bat.

The Bobcats, facing an 0-3 deficit, needed a score soon. At the bottom of the order, Minckler and right fielder Victoria LaBombard earned NAC’s first two bases with a walk and hit by pitch, respectively.

Bushey stepped up and hit a double, bringing both runners home to open up Bobcat scoring. Senior third baseman Ashlyn Seguin advanced Bushey two bases with a single in the next at bat. The score evened 3-3.

Mattison reached base on a walk in the bottom of the third, and a Johndrow single advanced her home two at bats later.

At the top of the fourth, NAC sophomore first baseman Allison LaPoint hit a triple, but was left on third when the next two batters were retired.

The bottom of the inning proved to be the turning point for the Sentinels.

“We wanted to put pressure on them and get runners in scoring position,” Mullen said. “That’s the approach we’ve taken all year.”

Disbrow, second up to bat, hit a double. Whitford hit a single two at bats later, allowing Disbrow to score. Moore walked, and both she and Whitford stole bases.

“Listening to ourselves and listening to other people definitely helps,” Mattison said.

Now on second and third base, all it took was a Mattison single for both to score. Up 7-3, Ticonderoga didn’t look back.

The Sentinels added a run in the fifth and two runs in the sixth thanks to a two RBI single by Johndrow. Headed into the top of the seventh, all Ticonderoga had to do was put the game away.

“I was not calm and collected. I was shaking. The last play of the game, my heart was pumping,” Johndrow said. “A lot of us had that nervousness but I think we came out of it really fast and pulled it together.”

Drinkwine struck out LaBombard and put two of the next three away at the top of the order to secure the championship win.

Celebration erupted at the mound. Sentinels shared hugs, high fives and TikToks and gathered for the award ceremony where they congratulated the Bobcats on a hard-fought game.

Ticonderoga now advances to play an undetermined Section II opponent May 29.

“We’ll go in with a plan, but with Section II you have to be clean,” Mullen said. “You have to execute, you have to be sharp and clean. If any group is going to do it, it’d be this group.”

Ticonderoga 10, NAC 4

NAC 003 010 0 - 4 6 2

TCS 211 312 x - 10 12 1

Minckler and Gilmore. Drinkwine and Moore. WP- Drinkwine. LP- Moore. 2B- Minckler (NAC). Moore (Ti) 2.