MacArthur falls in state 'AA' softball semi

MacArthur shortstop Kristen Brown fields the ball during

MacArthur shortstop Kristen Brown fields the ball during a New York state Class AA softball semifinal against Clarence in Queensbury, N.Y. (June 9, 2012) (Credit: Tim Roske)

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. -- Each time the MacArthur softball team took the field this season, they did so with a piece of paper stuffed inside their socks.

Printed on it was an inspirational quote that changed from game to game.

During the Long Island championship earlier this week, the quote was: "Be the dream."

During the state semifinal Saturday, it was: "How do you want to be remembered?"

MacArthur's dream season may have come to an end, but it certainly won't be forgotten. The Generals, who won their first county title since 2004 and first Long Island championship since 1988, fell in the state Class AA semifinals, 9-5, to Clarence at Morse Field in Queensbury.

"This team should be remembered as kids that became a family and never quit," MacArthur coach Bobby Fehrenbach said. "They worked so hard and got everything they deserved."

Clarence blasted three home runs off Kristen Brown, including two by Lauren Muni, to take a 9-2 lead by the fourth inning. Muni hit a two-run shot to leftfield in the top of the second inning to tie the score at 2. After Clarence scored two runs in the third, she led off a five-run fourth with a solo homer to take a 5-2 lead. Alyssa Dewes added an RBI triple and Tori Nappo capped the inning with a three-run homer.

MacArthur's Ashley Massoni came on in relief and tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings.

The Generals threatened in the sixth after a sacrifice fly by Kaitlyn Fitzsimmons scored Kristen Arbiter and a two-run double by Kirsten Kelley cut the lead to 9-5. But with runners on first and second, Clarence pitcher Katie Bull induced a ground ball to shortstop to end the inning.

"We didn't get our bats going until the last few innings and it was too late," said Jena Cozza, who went 2-for-4. "This is one of my favorite teams that I've ever played on. To get this far with them was great. We may have lost but we had an amazing season."

If there's a silver lining in losing the semifinal, it's that it left the seniors on MacArthur enough time to try to rush back to Long Island for their prom, which was set to begin at 6 p.m. Saturday night.

Brown, who went 1-for-2 with two walks, led off the bottom of the first with a home run over the leftfield fence for her 16th of the season. Briana Lombardo then laid down a safety squeeze to score Cozza and make it 2-0 MacArthur.

The loss brought an end to the brilliant high-school career of Brown, who will play shortstop at North Carolina next season.

"It's truly been an honor to play with these girls and win these titles and get all these accolades," Brown said. "It's kind of a letdown that we lost, but we went down swinging. I couldn't be any happier with our season. We kicked butt all year."

Now that's a quote they can stuff in their socks.

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