Having waited long enough for the fields to dry up, the Canastota softball team had seen a lot of surprises take place early in the Section III Class B playoffs.
On the B-2 side, where the Raiders were the top seed, no. 2 seed CBA fell to Herkimer 2-1. And on the B-1 side, defending champion Westhill blew a 5-0 lead and lost 6-5 in eight innings to Marcellus, clearing another big future obstacle.
Wanting to avoid all this, Canastota was ready when no. 8 seed Lowville visited for last Saturday's B-2 quarterfinal and took charge in the middle stages to beat the visiting Red Raiders by a score of 8-1.
Despite a first-inning run, Canastota didn't get off to the best of starts, as Lowville got a third-inning tally off Liz McGinley and tied it, 1-1, causing brief concern.
That concern eased, though, when the Raiders put up two runs in the bottom of the third to go in front for good, then added two more runs in the fourth inning. A three-run outburst in the sixth inning sealed it.
Jessica Patterelli supplied the power with a home run, two triples and three RBIs overall. Alicia Hibbard doubled and drove in two runs, while Jessica DeNova and Kim Zehr earned one RBI apiece.
Meanwhile, McGinley shook off whatever early rust she might have faced and threw a complete game, giving up just four hits.
All this helped ease the pain of what happened to Canastota's baseball team in the Class B playoffs - namely, a 23-4 loss to Holland Patent in the opening round.
On Monday, the softball Raiders meet no. 4 seed General Brown (who ripped Ilion 13-0) in the B-2 semifinals. The winner would get Adirondack in the B-2 title game, with the overall B final Saturday at the Gillette Road complex in Cicero. South Jefferson and Homer are the B-1 finalists.