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.