FARMINGDALE — Hall-Dale softball coach Stephen Acedo knew his team would never give up.

Even that, though, was not enough.

The second-seeded Bulldogs nearly erased a two-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning, but ultimately fell just short as the potential tying run was stranded 60 feet from home in a 3-2 loss to No. 3 Telstar in a Western Class C quarterfinal Saturday.

“They battled, we just didn’t make good contact. We missed some bunts, didn’t execute it, missed some signs for the bunts. Both pitchers pitched a good game,” Acedo said. “I don’t know if they wanted it more than us, but they took advantage of our mistake and we missed a couple there.”

Trailing 3-1 with two outs and Morgan Rush on first in the bottom of the seventh, the game looked as if it would end on a Kayla Johnson ground ball to Telstar’s second baseman. The ensuing throw was a little high, though, and popped out of the glove of the Rebels’ first baseman.

“That ground ball was hit there and I started to walk out of the dugout. I didn’t, but I started to and you’ve got to play all seven,” Telstar coach Jim Lunney said. “I guess it was one of those flukes off the first baseman’s glove. She normally makes that catch 99 out of 100 times.”

Rush and Johnson ended the play on second and third, respectively, and three pitches later Rush scored when Becca Ackerson reached base on an error on a ball hit to Telstar’s pitcher. That would be as close as the Bulldogs would get, however, as York induced a pop out back to the circle to end the threat.

“Our bats weren’t hot (Saturday). She kept throwing the strikes, we just didn’t put it in play,” Acedo said. “We came back in that last inning, got a few hits and that’s all I can ask. They battled right until the last out.

“…It just came down to making that routine play and we just didn’t execute it (Saturday), but Telstar deserved to win. They made us pay for those mistakes, so I give them all the credit for their victory.”

Neither team had much success against either of the game’s starting pitchers — Olivia Maynard for Hall-Dale and Olivia York for Telstar — through the first three innings, but in the bottom of the fourth Maynard helped her own cause with a shot over the fence in left field.

Gabby Brown followed with a single and — after a fly out to right — an error on a ball hit by Morgan Rush gave the Bulldogs second and third with two outs, but both would be left stranded. Telstar made the Bulldogs pay in the top of the sixth, the only inning in which the Rebels scored a run or had a hit.

Hayley Peterson opened the inning with a single, while York followed with a sacrifice bunt attempt that she popped up into the air. Maynard lunged and very nearly made a spectacular catch, but the ball squirted out of her glove to allow the first two runners to reach.

A bunt single from Vanessa Godwin loaded the bases with no outs, but Maynard battled back by getting a key strikeout for the first out of the inning. Telstar’s Lisa Gammon then laced the first pitch she saw to right-center field for a double, though, to score both Peterson and York.

Ashley Savage followed with an infield single to short to score Godwin from third, but Hall-Dale got out of the inning on the very same sequence with an unconventional double play.

After receiving the throw from Eva Shepherd, the Bulldogs’ first baseman, Brown, fired across the diamond to get Gammon at third. While that was going on, Savage, thinking she had been called out, began to walk off the field but was ushered back to the base by Telstar’s first base coach. She was then called out for coach’s interference after a brief conference by the umpires, but nonetheless had still delivered what would prove to be the game-winning RBI.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

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Twitter: @Evan_Crawley