A pair of unearned runs in the seventh inning and a lack of offensive production cost Whitehall’s softball team a chance to take sole possession of second place in the Adirondack League East division.
Hartford scored two runs on an error in the top of the seventh inning and snuffed out a potential bases-loaded rally in the bottom half of the inning to preserve a 3-1 victory over Whitehall on Monday afternoon.
Hartford’s Morgan Wicks fired a one-hitter and her drive to left field in the final inning was misplayed allowing two runs to score.
Brittney Putorti was nearly as good, allowing a single hit and striking out 14 batters in a complete game effort.
Tied 1-1 entering the seventh inning, Putorti retired the first hitter she faced but a walk and hit batter put the go-ahead run on second with one out. The next batter hit a slow dribbler to short and was able to beat the throw to first to load the bases.
After a fly ball to the first baseman, Wicks hit the ball to left where it fell from the fielder’s glove.
Whitehall loaded the bases on a single and two walks in the bottom of the inning, but a fielder’s choice at home and a groundout to first ended the threat.
All three runs scored by Hartford were unearned.
The loss cost Whitehall an opportunity to move into sole possession of second place as Fort Ann was upset by Fort Edward. Those teams remain tied going into last night’s contests.
The game was the second consecutive outing in which Whitehall couldn’t get their bats going.
On Friday, they recorded three hits against Fort Edward but a pair of errors allowed Whitehall to win 2-1.
The Railroaders scored a run in the first and third innings and Putorti struck out nine and allowed only six hits as she picked up her eighth win of the season.
With the win, Whitehall clinched a berth in Sectionals based upon the fact they cannot finish with a losing record in league play.
But head coach Pam Putorti said the team needs to improve its offense if they hope to have a successful postseason.
“We are not hitting. We aren’t going to win any games if we don’t start hitting better,” she said.
The Railroaders enter a pivotal two-game stretch. They were scheduled to play Lake George (results weren’t available before the paper went to press), which is in first place in the West division, Wednesday night and play Argyle tonight, weather permitting.
A pair of wins against those teams would put the Railroaders in position to win the East division entering the final week of the regular season.