Jun 03, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse, meeting for the Section III Class AA softball championship – again.
While everyone else groans, Warriors and Northstars partisans thrill at the prospect of yet another classic encounter Saturday afternoon at the Gillette Road complex in Cicero.
These title games have become an annual event. Recently, the trend has seen Liverpool win in the odd-numbered years and CNS in the even-numbered years.
Given that it’s 2010, that means it would be the Northstars’ turn – though the regular-season results have not corresponded with that trend.
In an April 2 game at Liverpool that featured snow, the two sides went 10 innings and settled nothing when, with the game still tied 4-4, darkness halted the proceedings.
Then, in a May 6 rematch under the lights at Gillette, CNS was one out from victory when Beth Lamison’s two-run single tied it, and she came back in the ninth to deliver the game-winning RBI in a 5-4 verdict.
To make this third encounter a reality, both sides had to win Class AA semifinal games Wednesday night at Hopkins Road Park.
Liverpool went first, topping no. 4 seed West Genesee 3-1. Then CNS went after no. 3 seed Oswego and got a bit of payback in a 7-2 victory over the Buccaneers.
For the second time in as many playoff games, the Warriors would see the other side score first, West Genesee getting on the board in the top of the third inning.
But that deficit didn’t last, as Liverpool scored twice off Wildcat pitcher Ashley Amidon in the bottom of the third, then tacked on a run in the fifth for insurance. Lucia Castellani scored twice, adding an RBI, while Emily Dumas earned two hits.
Tiffany Sampere, who also drove in a run, pitched another gem, holding WG to five hits and walking just one batter as she recorded nine strikeouts.
CNS, to get its shot at Liverpool’s crown, had to avenge a 3-2 loss to Oswego just two weeks earlier. And the intentions were announced early, as Sarah O’Hara smashed a Laura Miceli pitch deep over the center-field fence for a solo home run in the top of the second.
The Bucs grabbed a 2-1 lead an inning later, but the Northstars absorbed the blow and, in the top of the fifth, struck back with a combination of timely hits and poor Oswego defense.
With Sam Cirillo on base, Lindsey Silfer doubled to score Cirillo and tie it 2-2. A throwing error on Sydney Harbaugh’s grounder allowed Silfer to plate the go-ahead run, and when Harbaugh stole second, a bad throw to center allowed her to race home.
In the sixth, the lead doubled when Cirillo and Chelsea Szabo both hit run-scoring singles, and another run followed in the seventh as O’Hara finished with three hits and Cirillo got two hits.
While all this was going on, Sarah Salamone delivered a steady pitching effort. She limited Oswego to three hits and one walk, and the defense was stellar, too, as it needed to handle the ball often, since Salamone had just two strikeouts.