This was exactly the kind of signature win the West Genesee softball team was searching for -- and in a manner that made it even more valuable.
Hosting long-time power Cicero-North Syracuse last Tuesday afternoon, the Wildcats fell behind, then rallied in a wild seventh inning to beat the Northstars 6-5.
As it slowly built itself into a top-flight program in recent years, WG always had a standard to live up to-- that of CNS, with its long list of Section III and state championships over the last two decades.
Every other time the Wildcats met the Northstars in recent years, it ended with CNS on top, and WG was bent on changing that reality at some point.
Molly Shepherd took the mound in Camillus and, for most of the game, held the potent CNS lineup in check, allowing just single runs in the second and third innings.
Meanwhile, WG, having seen an early 1-0 lead get away, came back and poked across a run in the bottom of the fourth to tie it at 2-2, where it would remain until the wild events of the seventh inning.
Coming through in a clutch situation, CNS hit Shepherd hard and earned three runs to grab a 5-2 lead, something that pitcher Erica Gigliotti expected to protect.
However, in the bottom of the seventh, WG loaded the bases. This brought up Lexie Myers, who banged a shot to the gap that allowed all of the runners to come home, a double that tied the game at 5-5.
Gigliotti was out, replaced by Sarah Obrist -- who had to face Shepherd. With a sharp single, Shepherd brought Myers home with the game-winning run.