For its first homestand of the season, the Cicero-North Syracuse softball team worked with the assurance that, unlike its 4-4 tie with rival Liverpool on April 9, every game would have an ending, thanks to the lights at the Gillette Road complex.
Of course, no extra work was needed for the Northstars in last Monday's game against Central Square as it earned a 10-0 shutout of the Red Hawks.
In another combined pitching effort, Sydney O'Hara and Sarah Salamone held Central Square to just three hits. Meanwhile, the Northstars piled up 16 hits and, up 3-0, got away with three runs in the fourth innings and four runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Juliana Farone and Sam Cirillo both doubled and drove in two runs. Six others -- Chelsea Szabo, Sydney Harbaugh, Shannon Long, Brittany Paul, Jenn Huff and Lindsay Flanagan -- had one RBI apiece.
In stark contras, the Northstars' game with Oswego on Tuesday was a tense, tight affair that CNS had to pull out by a slim 2-1 margin.
Combined, O'Hara and Salamone blanked the Buccaneers for five innings, but Oswego's Laura Miceli did the same, adding to the tension.
In the top of the sixth, Oswego scored, Devynn Wilder driving in the run. But CNS countered with two runs off Miceli, driven in by O'Hara and Sydney Harbaugh. Salamone would get the final three outs in the seventh to earn the win.
Two days later, CNS welcomed another challenge, from Baldwinsville, and used strong pitching, plus a single rally, to put away the Bees 4-0.
With the game still scoreless in the bottom of the third, CNS went to work, touching up B'ville pitcher Cassie Williams for all four of its runs. O'Hara, Paul, Flanagan and Amy Van Hoven took turns earning RBIs.
That was more than enough, since Salamone and O'Hara teamed up to limit the Bees to just four hits, constantly keeping them off the board whenever it tried to threaten.
CNS can continue to build its win streak this week in games against Central Square, Fayetteville-Manlius and Henninger during the April school break.