May 06, 2007 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
To say that the Westhill softball team enjoyed a full and productive week of activity would be understating the case.
In the course of six days, the Warriors won six times, dragged itself through a pair of extra-inning classics, and went to the front of the OHSL Liberty divisions.
Of those games, none had more at stake than Friday’s first-place showdown with fast-rising Christian Brothers Academy. It took every bit of the Warriors’ grit to get past the Brothers 2-1 in a nine-inning affair.
At one point, pitcher Jessica Mangicaro struck out seven consecutive CBA hitters, and finished with 15 K’s for the afternoon.
Still, the Brothers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Grace Barnard walked, went to third base on a bad throw, and scored on a wild pitch. Westhill got even, 1-1, an inning later as Maggie Syron turned her own walk into a run.
CBA put many runners on base in the seventh and ninth innings, but left them all stranded as Mangicaro kept the game at 1-1.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Amanda O’Connell walked. Taking the game in her own hands, O’Connell stole second base, then went to third base, beating the throws both times.
Lauren Kelly watched all this, then hit a ground ball to Barnard at short. The throw home was good — but O’Connell slid under the tag just enough to produce the winning run.
Renewing their neighborhood rivalry, Westhill and Solvay got together early last week, and the Warriors came out in front both times,
Part one took place last Monday afternoon, at Woods Road, with the Warriors topping the Bearcats 6-2.
Solvay got both of its runs off Jessica Mangicaro in the bottom of the first inning. By that point, Westhill already had three runs, having started quickly, and Gabrielle Nurod could not keep the Warriors from three more tallies in the third and fourth innings.
The rematch at Westhill on a gray, soggy Tuesday afternoon proved to be much closer, but again the Warriors pulled it out, edging Solvay 3-2.
Westhill saw leads of 1-0 and 2-1 slip away, as the Bearcats got single runs in the fourth and sixth innings, Kylie Scoville driving both of them in.
But in the bottom of the seventh, Sarah McMullen got on base, and came around with the winning run off Nurod. Mangicaro surrendered just five hits, as Amanda O’Connell and Alyssa Reale were credited with one RBI apiece.
From there, the Warriors took a Wednesday trip to Cazenovia, where it needed 10 long innings to subdue the Lakers in a 6-5 classic.
Westhill went in front, 2-0, with a pair of fifth-inning runs. After an exchange, Cazenovia got two runs off Mangicaro in the top of the seventh to go up 3-2, forcing Westhill to get a run in the bottom of that frame to senc the game to extra innings.
Neither side scored in the eighth or ninth, forcing the 10th-inning scenario where a runner is placed on second base to start with.
Jumping on this, Cazenovia scored twice. Westhill, like a champion would do, answered with three runs, with O’Connell’s two-run double producing the victory.
O’Connell’s efforts included a double, triple and two RBIs, as Kristen O’Mara and Syron also drove in runs. Molly Dougherty had a pair of RBIs to lead Cazenovia’s charge.
They tried to play a second game of that twin bill, in Cazenovia, but darkness stopped the game.
It finally ended on Saturday, when the Warriors completed its second doubleheader sweep in a week with a 9-1 victory. Kelly, O’Connell and Syron each had two RBIs as Westhill got a least one run in each of the five innings they played.
As it sat with the OHSL Liberty division lead, the Warriors began to protect it on Thursday, with a 5-1 victory over Hannibal.
All of Westhill’s runs came in the fourth and fifth innings, which broke up a scoreless affair. Kayley Arsenault drove in two runs, with O’Connell and Kelly also earning RBIS. Mangicaro lost her shutout in the bottom of the seventh, but still limited Hannibal to just five hits.
Solvay, meanwhile, took a 10-5 loss to Bishop Ludden, despite Kelly Kaltenbach’s three RBIs, and also fell to Skaneateles 6-2 when the Lakers scored five times in the fourth inning off Brittni Casmiro.
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