Recap with video: Kingston pulls out big win over Middletown

Class AA softball is, perhaps, as deep as it as ever been this season.

Think about it?

There are so many teams that could make a run at the championship – from Middletown, to Valley Central, to Kingston, to Roosevelt, to Warwick. And don’t count out defending Class AA champion Pine Bush and Minisink Valley.

We got a glimpse of how exciting the Section 9 Class AA tournament could be on Monday during Kingston’s 4-3 come-from-behind Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association Division I win over host Middletown.

Kingston trailed 3-0 entering the sixth inning, but scored four runs in that frame. Ashley Cruise outdueled Middletown sophomore lefty Allison Marcano in an impressive match-up of aces. Third baseman Alyjah Cruz drove in Olivia Lattin with a two-out single in the sixth to plate the winning run. Lattin tied the game with a three-run double.

“This was a big win for us,” said Cruise, who pitched a five-hitter with seven strikeouts. “We didn’t want to lose to them like we did earlier this year. We couldn’t falter, even when we were down. We never gave up and knew we could come back. I wouldn’t let another run up after we scored those four runs.”

Middletown (15-4, 7-1 OCIAA) could have clinched its first OCIAA divisional title in a decade with a win on Monday. Kingston (13-5, 5-1) can force a tie with the Middies for the Division I championship with wins over Newburgh on Tuesday and Pine Bush on Wednesday. A loss in either game by Kingston gives Middletown the title.

Middletown went up 2-0 in the fourth inning on a two-run triple by freshman Raquel Estrada off the hard-throwing Cruise. Kaylee Weinberg, the next batter, drove in Estrada with a single to make it 3-0.

Marcano took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. But Kingston’s Jillian Staley led off the sixth with a walk and Amanda King followed by getting hit by a pitch. After a single by Sarah Bagancz, Lattin ripped a double to left-center field to tie the game 3-3. Cruz drove Lattin in with the game-winning run with two outs in the sixth and Cruise gutted it out from there.

Expect this kind of excitement in the Class AA playoffs. It should be some tournament.

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