Given the recent struggles of the Skaneateles softball team, it had to be encouraging to see them put up first-rate efforts in the opening week of the 2010 season, even if neither game resulted in a victory.
First, the Lakers seized an early lead against Westhill in last Tuesday's season opener at Austin Park. And while the Lakers did lose to the Warriors 4-2, it still was a first-rate effort, in part due to pitcher Alyssa Stevens, who blanked Westhill in the first three innings.
Skaneateles got to Westhill ace Tony Secreti for both of its runs in the bottom of the first, as Emily Call doubled. The Warriors countered with two-run rallies in the fourth and fifth innings to move out in front, and Secreti held the Lakers to three hits overall while striking out 15.
That proved to be an appetizer for Wednesday's wild affair with Solvay. The Lakers erased a huge deficit, then fell behind again, then made another comeback attempt at the end before finally falling to the Bearcats 10-9.
It looked over early, as Solvay jumped on Stevens in the first two innings and grabbed a 7-0 lead. But in the bottom of the third, the Lakers got to Bearcats pitcher Gabrielle Nurod for four runs to leap back in the fray, then got three more runs in the fourth to tie it 7-7.
There it remained until the top of the sixth, when Solvay scored twice to go back in front. And as it turned out, the run the Bearcats got off Chelsea Hamilton in the seventh would be the difference as Skaneateles staged its own two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh, but fell just short of tying it once more.
Amid the fray, Julianna Augustine finished with three RBIs, while Erica Tardiff and Jackie Coyle also drove in runs. Ultimately, the Lakers paid for poor defense, committing six errors to the Bearcats' two.