Mixing in patience and skill with just the right amount of good fortune, the Cicero-North Syracuse softball team made a great escape in last Saturday's game against Oswego at the Gilllete Road complex.
Twice, the Northstars trailed, Twice, they made it back, finally prevailing over the Buccaneers 7-6 in a wild 10-inning battle.
It all began with CNS loading the bases with nobody out in the first inning -- and not scoring a run. That looked costly when Oswego, in the top of the fourth, put up four runs against Erica Gigliotti, three of them scoring on Devynn Wilder's triple.
Gigliotti settled down and blanked the Bucs over the next three innings, giving her team a chance to rally.
In the sixth, Brittany Paul smashed a two-run double to cut the 4-0 deficit in half, but it still looked to be over when Oswego pitcher Lauren Corradino retired the first two batters in the bottom of the seventh.
But Morgan Nandin reached on an error, Jennifer Huff singled and Sydney O'Hara walked to load the bases. Then, with Gigliotti at bat, Corradino threw two wild pitches, allowing Nandin and Huff to score and tie the game 4-4.
When the eighth and ninth innings went without resolution, the 10th-inning tie-breaker of a runner at second base went into effect.
Oswego took full advantage. Following a botched force play and stolen base, the Bucs scored twice off a passed ball and wild pitch, going back in front 6-4.
Yet still CNS wasn't done. In the bottom of the 10th, Lindsey Flanagan reached on a bunt single and Paul's infield hit made it 6-5. After Sydney Harbaugh walked to load the bases, Lucia Meola's sacrifice fly tied it and Nandin walked. Finally, Huff's hard shot off the second baseman allowed Paul to score and win it.