Ludden softball loses tight C-2 final

In a Section III Class C softball playoffs full of surprises (such as long-time powers Sandy Creek and Pulaski knocked out before the finals), Bishop Ludden had defended its top seed in the Class C-2 bracket quite well.

Yet the Gaelic Knights, like the Comets and Blue Devils before them, would fall before claiming its banner.

In a tense, dramatic Class C-2 title game last Wednesday at the Gillette Road complex in Cicero, Ludden would battle with Utica-Notre Dame, only to take a painful 1-0 loss to the Jugglers.

All game long, Ludden would have its chances, none better than in the top of the seventh inning when, trailing by one run, it appeared ready to turn it all around.

To that point, the Gaelic Knights had managed just one hit against UND pitcher Keaton Perry, whose fifth-inning single just inside the line brought home the game's lone run.

That would be the lone blemish for Ludden pitcher Grace Rooney, who allowed just three hits overall while striking out six, giving her team a chance to win it in the end.

Beth Jerome notched the second hit off Perry to lead off the seventh. Moments later, Cate Graf's fly ball turned into a double, and suddenly Ludden had the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position with nobody out.

Given three chances to get that clutch hit, the Gaelic Knights couldn't pull it off, as Perry used a strikeout, pop-up and strikeout, in that order, to end Ludden's season at 18-4.

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