Though close each time it got a chance to play, the Chittenango softball team had to deal with back-to-back losses, both in extra innings.
In last Tuesday's game against East Syracuse-Minoa, the 10-4 defeat to the Spartans hides the way the Bears fought back from a four-run deficit.
ESM had scored twice in the first inning, then used runs in the fourth and fifth innings to push the margin to 4-0.
Yet the Bears didn't give in, hitting Spartan pitcher Mallory Martino for a run in the sixth, then stunning the crowd when it scored three times in the bottom of the seventh to tie it, 4-4, and force extra innings.
Only in the eighth inning did the Bears' pitching fall apart, as ESM got to them for six runs to decide matters, and Chittenango could not answer.
Two days later, in a chilly trip to Jamesville-DeWitt, the Bears again rallied to force an eighth inning -- and again lost, this time a 6-5 decision to the Red Rams.
Down 2-0, Chittenango tagged J-D for three runs in the top of the third, only to see the Rams stage its own three-run rally in the bottom of that frame to reclaim a 5-3 edge.
It was still 5-3 when, in the top of the seventh, the Bears, down to its last outs once more, poked across two runs to stay alive. It could not grab the lead, though, and J-D's run in the bottom of the eighth ended it. Shelby Bogle, in defeat, earned three RBIs.
At week's end, the Bears found some respite, able to pile up lots of offense during Saturday's 23-11 romp over Holland Patent.
Chittenango had a 10-0 lead by the end of the second inning. HP made it all up and took an 11-10 lead, only to see the Bears get seven runs in the fifth inning and six runs in the bottom of the seventh to reclaim control.