Before his Canastota softball players jogged onto the field in the bottom of the seventh inning of Wednesday night's Section III Class B-2 final, coach Tony Patterelli asked the girls on simple question: "What's the score?"
In unison, they immediately replied: "Zero, zero."
Thanks to this mentality, the lead was something the Raiders never lost during the B-2 final against Adirondack at the Gillette Road complex in Cicero.
Despite playing a 10-inning game on Monday against General Brown, the Raiders showed no signs of fatigue and beat the Wildcats 5-0. It marked the fourth straight year Canastota and Adirondack had met with the B-2 title on the line.
As the first batter of the game, Brianna Quaglia drew a leadoff walk, and quickly made her way to third off infield errors.
Still hot from her three-for-four night at the plate against General Brown, Jessica Patterelli prolonged her hitting streak, sending Quaglia home with an RBI triple.
Laying down a sacrifice bunt later in the inning for
Patterelli, Lyndsay McGinley recorded an RBI, and the Raiders had a 2-0 lead.
Liz McGinley's solid pitching performance gave the Wildcats trouble at the plate, allowing the Raiders to cruise through the next three innings.
In the top of the fifth, however, Canastota craved a few more runs. After getting a free pass to first,
Andrea Underwood advanced to second -- off of Alexis Havens' sacrifice bunt -- and eventually came home on Quaglia's infield single. Quaglia would later score, increasing
the Raiders' lead to 4-0.
Liz McGinley opened the sixth inning with a single, making her presence at the plate known. Battling back from two previous strikeouts, Jessica DeNova found her stride, batting in the Raiders' fifth and final run.
Although Canastota hasn't lost a game in nearly a month, Tony Patterelli said he had no doubts that his players would stay focused during their 12-game win streak.