Whitehall Advances to ADK Playoffs With Walk-Off Win

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By Keith Harrington

There is just something about this Whitehall team. A magical story could be brewing. After defeating Fort Edward on Friday with just eight players from the first inning on, the Railroaders faced a must-win game without three starters on Monday. A pair of junior varsity call-ups were inserted into the lineup just for Whitehall to be able to field a team.

Not to be denied a chance to defend their league title, the Railroaders rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to edge Corinth 4-3 in walk-off fashion to earn a spot in the Adirondack League championship playoffs.

“This team has gotten better every single week, every single day. They just keep getting better and better,” coach Chris Bascue said. “They listen to the instruction and just take it and put it on the field.”

Whitehall found themselves trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth and struggled to get anything going against Riverhawks starter Tegan Grady. That’s when Marissa Eggleston changed the momentum. Eggleston blasted a solo home run over the fence in left-center field to slice the deficit to 2-1.

“I didn’t like the pitch before that. The next pitch was perfect so I knew I had to go for it,” Eggleston explained.

Corinth took advantage of a couple of Railroader miscues to tack on a run in the top of the seventh to lead 3-1.

In the seventh Khloe Paddock led off by reaching on an error. Brooke Austin hit a soft grounder and Paddock beat the throw to second. Lilly Lavin followed with a picture-perfect bunt single to load the bases. Leah Tracey then lofted a flyball to center field that was misplayed by the Riverhawk defense. The error led to a pair of runs to tie the game at 3-3.

That brought Olivia Gordon, the number nine hitter to the plate. Gordon singled sharply to center field. Lavin beat the throw to the plate and the Railroaders had suddenly punched their ticket to the league tournament.

Even after graduating one of the most successful groups of athletes in school history, Bascue is not surprised to have a chance to defend their title.

“I knew that we were going to have a good nucleus with Khloe, Mia, and Marissa. And Lilly and Haylee (Pratt) were on the team last year,” Bascue said. “We’re down three of our starters, but you’ve got to move on and these guys believed we were going to come in and win a game.”

Having the junior varsity players come in and not miss a beat is a luxury for the Railroaders.

“That’s a testament to our junior varsity program. A lot of schools don’t have a JV team,” Bascue added. Having a JV program and good coaching there, we can grab and fill holes. And we’re comfortable. With it.”

Paddock scattered four hits in the circle for Whitehall and struck out 16, including her 100th of the season.

Grady pitched well for Corinth, giving up just five hits while striking out six.

Grady and Whitney Cameron both doubled for the Riverhawks.

Corinth fell to 5-6 in the league.

Whitehall improved to 8-3 in the league and earned the No. 3 seed due to point differential after tying with Argyle and Fort Ann. The Railroaders will meet No.2 Granville in the semifinals today at 4:30 pm in Granville.