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Softball Lakers ousted by J-E

Thursday's opening round of the Section III Class B-1 playoffs was filled with upsets, from no. 6 seed Homer defeating no. 3 seed A-P-W to no. 7 seed Marcellus rallying past no. 2 seed and defending champion Westhill.

In the bracket's third upset, the Cazenovia Lakers, a no. 4 seed playing at home, fell to the no. 5 seed Jordan-Elbridge Eagles by a score of 7-2.

Despite their higher seeding, and home field advantage, the Lakers struggled to string together a series of scores.

J-E jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Cazenovia provided an answer to tie it, 1-1.

Sophomore second baseman Taylor Malmsheimer recorded the Lakers' second hit of the game, registering a double. In scoring position, Malmsheimer made it home thanks to a single from senior centerfielder Lindsey Smith, who was three-for-three at the plate.

Tallying two runs in the third inning, the Eagles regained the lead, 3-1. However, the Lakers answered again.

Driving a fastball from pitcher Jenn Gasparek to deep left-center field, Smith recorded the lone triple of the match. With another runner in scoring position, sophomore leftfielder Abby Eschen closed the gap by laying down a squeeze bunt.

"When I got the sign, I knew I had to get it down the third baseline," Eschen said. "I wasn't really thinking about anything else, expect putting the ball in play."

Sprinting and sliding into home, Smith touched the plate with her hand, acrobatically avoiding the tag, and Cazenovia only trailed 3-2.

But J-E struck again in the fifth inning, building the margin back to 4-2 by scoring off an infield error.

As the momentum shifted in the favor of the Eagles, it capitalized off a handful of walks, errors, and RBIs by scoring three times in the top of the sixth to put it away.

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