At least on the surface, the Oneida softball team had the make-up to do much more than just win a Section III Class A title.
Yet the Indians could not make it out of Wednesday's regional round at the Gillette Road complex in Cicero, beaten 2-0 by Franklin Academy, from Section X.
As a result, no Section III team made it to the state final four in Waterloo. Liverpool (Class AA), Canastota (Class B), South Lewis (Class C) and Stockbridge Valley (Class D) all had lost in regional games the day before.
This left Oneida as the lone local team left, and with Beth Kann in the pitcher's circle (just one run allowed in 21 innings during the sectional playoffs), it had a great chance to move forward.
Yet Franklin had its own ace in Ashley Marshall, who had blanked Section II champion Lansingburgh 3-0 earlier in the week, so it promised to be a low-scoring affair.
The Huskies, who hail from Malone, a town near the Canadian border halfway between Massena and Plattsburgh, traveled more than three hours to Cicero. Their trip would not be wasted.
Quickly, the game became a pitcher's showdown between Kann and Marshall. Three times in the first five innings, Franklin got a runner to second base, but each time Kann left them stranded as she accumulated six strikeouts and maintained her shutout.
Marshall was just as good, allowing just a two-out Clare Henry double in the first three innings. Kann singled to open the bottom of the fourth, but after two force plays and a stolen base, Jenna Didio got stranded at second when Erika Williams popped out.
They went to the sixth inning still 0-0, and it was here that Oneida would blink.
Britt Marshall led off with a single up the middle. When Emily Sharlow attempted to bunt her over, Kann threw wildly to first base, and Marshall didn't stop running until she had crossed home plate. Another throwing error put Sharlow on third.