Having scraped out so many wins this spring, the Cicero-North Syracuse softball team knew it needed much more if it wanted to subdue its biggest rival.
When Liverpool arrived at Gillette Field on Saturday, everything fell into place -- at least from a pitching standpoint -- and the Northstars beat the Warriors 1-0.
For their first encounter since last May's Section III Class AA final, CNS and Liverpool got a bit more time to prepare since Friday's rains pushed the game back 24 hours.
When they did get together, a strong wind blew, giving the pitchers a major advantage. Also, neither side would excel on the defensive side, as Liverpool committed four errors and CNS two.
Through four innings, it remained 0-0, as the combination of Erica Gigliotti and Sarah Salamone held Liverpool's daunting lineup to two hits for the day.
Warriors ace Tiffany Sampere was doing the same to the Northstars until the bottom of the fifth inning. Morgan Nandin's double, one of just two CNS hits on the day, put her in scoring position. An error moved her to third base, and Sydney O'Hara's ground ball allowed Nandin to race home with what proved to be the game's only run.
CNS and Liverpool are set to meet again at the Warriors' home diamond behind Morgan Road Elementary School. Game time is 4:30.
Prior to this, CNS earned a key league wins last Tuesday, at Gillette, where it put together a lot of early offense to beat Central Square 7-3.
With steady production, the Northstars got to Red Hawks pitchers Marie Steding and Mackenzie Sherlock for all of its runs in the first four innings. Lucia Meola tripled and earned two RBIs, with Jennifer Huff also driving in two runs. Nandin and Sarah Wanzekewitz earned one RBI apiece.
Salamone pitched, and sailed along until Central Square tagged her for all three of its runs in the top of the fifth. Sydney O'Hara relieved, and blanked the Red Hawks the rest of the way for the save.
A day later, the Northstars roared past Henninger 14-0, using an eight-run third inning to get away as Erica Gigliotti combined with O'Hara on a one-hitter.
Meola led the 14-hit attack as she doubled, tripled and earned four RBIs. Nandin drove in three runs, with O'Hara and Brittany Paul each getting two RBIs. Lindsay Flanagan added an RBI, too.