May 06, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Through a stretch of home games that, in total, would cover just 10 days, the Liverpool softball team would play four big games against potential post-season foes — and won the first three in that sequence.
The closest of these games came on Saturday afternoon, when the Warriors exacted a bit of revenge on Rome Free Academy in 2-1, eight-inning thriller.
When they had first met April 7, in Rome, the Warriors squandered a long series of scoring opportunities and took a 1-0 defeat. Remembering that, the Warriors sent ace Erin Squairs to the mound to oppose RFA’s Courtney Creedon.
Over the course of the first five innings, Squairs and Creedon matched gems, keeping it 0-0. In the top of the sixth, Janet Rolf’s RBI got the Black Knights in front, 1-0, but Emily Dumas answered with a run-scoring hit of her own in the bottom of that frame to tie it, 1-1.
Tiffany Sampere replaced Squairs on the mound in the sixth inning. Sampere got the last out there, then blanked RFA through the seventh and eighth innings.
Sampere wasn’t done, either. In the bottom of the eighth, Sampere ripped a double off the left-field wall. Moments later, Lorraine Stoddard faced Creedon and, with a single, brought Sampere home with the winning run.
The first big game in this long homestand came last Wednesday, against Oswego, where the Buccaneers proved stubborn before the Warriors pulled clear and won, 3-0.
Sharon Dennis nearly led off with a home run, but her first-inning double led to a run that, for a long time, was the only one of the game.
Squairs kept a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but Oswego’s Lauren Corradino stayed right with her after that initial run, keeping it at 1-0 by not allowing a walk.
Finally, in the bottom of the sixth, Kalyn Howard’s second double produced an RBI, and Emily Dumas also drove in a run, giving Squairs the cushion to finish her two-hit shutout.
Following up the RFA win, the Warriors continued its strong play Monday afternoon against West Genesee, beating the Wildcats 4-0.
Though WG was 11-2, it did not have its pitching ace, Molly Shepherd, on the mound, and Liverpool got to Ganarehwai Printup for a pair of first-inning runs, thanks to RBI singles by Beth Lamison and Alex Czachowski.
Hitting in the no. 4 spot, Dumas connected on a solo home run over the left-field fence in the bottom of the third, and Kayla Howar doubled and scored in the fifth inning to round out the scoring.
Sampere went all seven innings and allowed just two hits in what was, arguably, her strongest pitching effort of the season. She also got error-free defense behind her as Dennis and second baseman Chara Burke both made outstanding stops.
This came as a stark contrast to last Tuesday’s game at Utica Proctor, a wild affair where Czachowski made some personal history in a 15-5 win over the Raiders.
Proctor was tough and stubborn, hanging close until Liverpool erupted for nine runs in the top of the seventh inning to put things away.
Throughout the game, Czachowski starred at the plate, as she achieved the rare feat of hitting for the cycle — a single, double, triple and home run, all in the same game.
This was just the small part of a 17-hit Liverpool attack that gave Sampere plenty of room to earn the victory on the mound.
In between Oswego and RFA, the Warriors sneaked off to Nottingham Friday and beat the Bulldogs 5-2. Czachowski continued to pound it, with a double and three RBIs, as Stoddard drove in the other two runs.
All of that was needed, as Liverpool used two runs in the fourth inning to break a 2-2 tie and go ahead of the upset-minded Bulldogs for good.
This group of wins leads the Warriors (13-2) to Friday’s showdown with archrival Cicero-North Syracuse as it tries to avenge a 9-0 defeat to the Northstars from earlier this season. Liverpool also plays at Central Square on Saturday.
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