Barely three weeks after a memorable first clash, the Solvay and Westhill softball teams were at it again Friday afternoon, hoping it would be just as memorable as the 2-1, eight-inning battle won by the Bearcats on April 10.
However, the Warriors would take charge of the rematch, escaping a lot of early jams before putting up the runs necessary for a 7-0 victory over the Bearcats that pulled the team into first place in the OHSL Liberty division.
In each of the first three innings, Solvay put two runners on base, fully testing Westhill freshman pitcher Tony Secreti. However, Secreti stayed cool and did not let a run cross the plate, denying the Bearcats an early chance to take control.
Instead, the Warriors tapped across single runs in the second and third innings, then scored twice in the bottom of the fourth and three more times in the fifth inning to force Solvay ace Gabrielle Nurod out of the game.
Five different Westhill players -- Kailey Arsenault, Allison Haynes, Alyssa Reale, Brittany Kaiser and Katie Hartnett -- got credit for diving in runs, as Hartnett and Courtney Morgan both banged out doubles. Secreti, in all, gave up just four hits.
Solvay already had gone through a challenging week. It began undefeated in league play, but got surprised at home last Tuesday afternoon during a 3-1 loss to Christian Brothers Academy.
In contrast to the veteran Bearcats, CBA carried a three-game losing streak and boasted a roster that included three eighth-graders.
But after Shannon Slowik's first-inning RBI, Solvay found itself shut down by CBA pitcher Grace Rooney (sister of Bishop Ludden star John Rooney), managing just five hits.
This gave the Brothers time to solve Nurod -- which it did, tying the game in the fourth inning. Nurod left in the fifth inning, replaced by Arianna Campagnone, and CBA got two runs off her that proved to be the difference.