LAKE GEORGE - Steely defense, a diving catch and smart base-running secured a key win for Lake George Wednesday in the long-awaited showdown between the two top softball pitchers in the Adirondack League.
Lake George beat rival Hartford 3-1 in seven innings, answering back two years of losses to the talented Tanagers.
Katelyn Callahan, featuring her blazing, curve-laden pitching with intimidating delivery, was up against Jackie Petteys with her fast throws, wily placement and a deceptive riser.
Callahan came out the victor in the storied battle.
The two pitchers kept the game contained to two hits and scoreless for the first five and a half innings, but then Lake George broke the game open.
Rachel Pliscovsky - who was one of the most successful batters Wednesday against Petteys - hit an infield single, barely beating the throw to first base. A ground-out and strikeout followed, and she stole second base moments before Callahan came to the plate.
With two outs, Callahan's resolve, keen eyes and strong arms kept the offense alive - along with the savvy base-running of her teammates.
Callahan slugged the ball into left field and reached second base, sending Pliscovsky across home plate. Rebecca Kandora hit the ball towards the Hartford shortstop, who bobbled the ball, delaying a throw to first, and Kandora got there a millisecond before the ball arrived - while Callahan advanced to third. Kandora set out to steal second, but the Hartford throw was off, and Callahan took off for home. The Hartford throw to cut her off was out-of-bounds, and Kandora also scored to make the game 3-0.
Hartford's Brittany Brayman, who proved she could connect with Callahan's inscrutable pitches by tallying two hits, led off the seventh inning with a hit in the gap beyond second base, then she reached third on a wild pitch. Brayman then crossed home plate on a RBI ground-out hit by Christina Petteys, bringing the score to 3-1.