Black River upsets Phantoms, 11-8

Rachel Stulmueller ducks a tag to slide into third safely after a base clearing triple.

The Proctor Phantoms softball team came into the game against Black River on Friday, May 31, as the three-seed with a 12-3 record. They had won nine of the last 10, including the regular season finale against Black River, and looked like they would be a tough out in the Division IV playoffs.

And that’s how the game started in the first few innings.

While Black River took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, the Phantoms added one in the bottom of the inning as freshman Maggie McKearin stole both second and third base after a walk before scoring on a dropped third strike.

After a quick top of the second, the Black River pitcher, Emily Perham, could not find the plate. After two straight walks, President’s coach Zoe Trimboli pulled her for Paige Kelley, who walked the first batter she faced.

With the bases loaded, Proctor sophomore Rachel Stuhlmueller strode to the plate looking to do some damage. Trimboli shifted her outfield to account for the lefty’s tendency to pull her hits toward right field, bringing her centerfielder in shallow and moving the leftfielder to play shallow right and having the rightfielder play a deep rover.

Stuhlmueller found a pitch she liked and drove it over the head of the centerfielder into the unattended deep left-centerfield. All three runners rounded and scored and Stuhlmueller beat a close tag into third where she scored a moment later on an infield hit from junior Amanda Reynolds making it 5-1.

Black River added another three, and Proctor another two, leaving Proctor with a 7-4 lead after the third, in which junior Allie Almond hit a double, stole third then scored on an error.

But the Presidents tied the game with a big fifth inning and took a one-run lead in the sixth; adding another three runs in the final inning while holding Proctor to a single score. Black River’s 11-8 win sends them to face West Rutland on Tuesday evening after The Reporter’s deadline. Proctor ends the season with a 12-4 record, but the Phantoms only graduate one senior, Sarah Pecor, and will look to return to the playoffs for redemption next season.

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