Softball Warriors move ahead in playoffs

Everything gets more difficult in the post-season -- something the Liverpool softball team experienced, first-hand, when the Section III Class AA playoffs got underway.

As the no. 2 seed, the healthy well-rested Warriors were supposed to roll through no. 7 seed Central Square -- but instead needed some late offense to escape an upset trap and earn a 4-2 victory over the Red Hawks.

Through three innings, it remained 0-0, as Central Square pitcher Marie Steding contained the high-powered Liverpool lineup.

A tense exchange followed, as the Red Hawks went up 1-0 in the fourth inning, the Warriors tied it an inning later, and Central Square went back in front 2-1 in the top of the sixth. Kate Shepard hit a solo home run along the way.

Staring at the quick end of its season, Liverpool finally got to Steding in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases before Erin Squairs cleared them with a clutch triple that scored three runs.

This was atonement for Squairs, who pitched into the sixth inning, then left with the game still in doubt. Tiffany Sampere came in and, with a scoreless seventh inning, got the win.

On Wednesday, the Warriors would go to Hopkins Road Park, seeking to avenge two regular-season defeats to Baldwinsville (who knocked out Rome Free Academy 3-0) in the AA semifinals. The winner goes to Gillette Road Saturday to meet Cicero-North Syracuse or Oswego for the AA title.

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