Without question, the Cicero-North Syracuse softball team took a mixed message out of its doubleheader split with Rome Free Academy Monday afternoon in Rome.
On the one hand, the Northstars' bats were quite impressive in a 16-4 nightcap that included 15 hits and all sorts of power.
But the first game, a 3-0 defeat, marked the first time the Black Knights had ever beaten CNS in league play, an early sign that the path to repeating as CNY Counties League and Section III Class AA champions will not be a smooth one.
That game featured a masterpiece from RFA pitcher Amelia Casalenuovo. She held the Northstars to just four hits and kept them off the board.
For five innings, CNS hurler Erica Gigliotti matched Casalenuovo's work, keeping it 0-0. But in the bottom of the sixth, the Black Knights got to her for all three of its runs, with Allyson Eagan and Emma Duschesneau each earning an RBI in that rally.
Casalenuovo rested in the second game, and CNS took full advantage, pounding out 15 hits in a game where a nine-run third inning proved to be the highlight.
Brittany Paul finished with two RBIs as Sydney O'Hara, Jenna Perry and Felicia Lattanzio also drove in runs. Paul, Perry, Jennifer Huff, Sydney Harbaugh and Morgan Nandin each had one double. Harbaugh finished with three hits and three runs scored.