With a winning program well established, the task for the West Genesee softball team is to try and break the stranglehold Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse has held on the rest of the Section III Class AA ranks.
The Wildcats wanted to do this in 2009, only to see Oswego eliminate them 2-1 in a tight Class AA quarterfinal. With most of its lineup back, including pitcher Ashley Amidon, WG embraces its new set of expectations.
Ten long days after a season-opening win over Westhill, the Wildcats returned last Monday and were both stingy and productive in a 6-0 shutout Rome Free Academy.
Amidon pitched most of the way, giving way late to Ashley D'Avirro as the pair combined to allow just four hits and keep the Black Knights off the board.
A pair of first-inning runs put WG in front for good as it scored in four of six innings. Kailey Ritch doubled twice and earned two RBIs as Katie Regin also got two doubles. D'Avirro, Rachel Hayden and Mackenzie Glynn joined Regin, driving in one run apiece.
WG looked Thursday to continue the struggles of Fayetteville-Manlius, who were coming off back-to-back one-run losses to Liverpool and Baldwinsville.
Sure enough, the Wildcats beat the Hornets 6-3, seizing an early 3-0 edge, then using three runs in the bottom of the fifth to account for its ultimate winning margin.
D'Avirro, who again relieved Amidon in the late innings, finished with a double and two RBIs as Glynn and Amidon both drove in runs, too. WG won despite getting just six hits to the Hornets' nine as both Amidon and D'Avirro successfully worked out of trouble.
As for West Genesee's baseball team, coming off an April 10 defeat to Corcoran, it was back home last Monday to meet Utica Proctor, but ran into one of the area's best pitchers in a 4-2 loss to the Raiders.