All of a sudden, the Westhill softball team's smooth, simple path to the top of the OHSL Liberty and Section III Class B ranks doesn't seem as easy now.
A pair of back-to-back battles with Cazenovia, the other main OHSL Liberty contender, has enlivened the league title race, and forced the Warriors to get tough.
In the first of these games, made up from an April 7 weather postponement, Cazenovia got just two hits off Toni Secreti -- but both of them mattered as the Warriors lost to the Lakers 3-1.
Secreti was sailing along until, in the top of the third, Alissa Easterly hit a solo home run. An inning later, with two runners on base, Kara Stadler brought them home with a single, and Westhill trailed 3-0.
It stayed this way until the bottom of the sixth, when Brittany Kaiser's hit got Westhill on the board. But that was all the Warriors would get against Laker pitcher Alyssa Boswell, who gave up just four hits in her complete-game effort.
Just 24 hours later, Westhill sought revenge in Cazenovia -- and got it in a big way, figuring out Boswell on its way to an 11-2 victory over the Lakers.
Down 1-0 through two innings, the Warriors struck for two runs in the top of the third to go in front. And it was 3-1 when, in the fifth inning, Westhill hit for six runs, driving Boswell from the game.
Secreti, who pitched the whole way, had a bigger impact at the plate, with a home run and four RBIs. Emily Mangicaro drove in two runs, while Kaiser Andrea Golembiewski and Nicole Toth put up one RBI apiece.