Pecking away at the plate, and shining with its gloves in the field, the Oneida softball earned its second straight Section III Class A championship.
The Indians put together 10 hits during Monday night's 6-1 victory over Jamesville-DeWitt at the Gillette Road complex in Cicero, but didn't take the lead for good until the late stages.
J-D, just the no. 6 seed, had won five straight sectional titles from 2002 to '06 and was attempting to reclaim its throne. It had upset no. 3 seed New Hartford and no. 2 seed Homer 4-3 to reach this point.
And it threatened to go ahead early against Oneida, too, thanks to Mary Young's leadoff triple in the bottom of the first inning.
When Tessa Devereaux bunted, though, Morgan Murawski faked a throw to first, drawing Young off third - and Murawski whipped around, threw to third, and forced a rundown. As if that wasn't enough, Shannon Dowling threw out Devereaux trying to steal second moments later.
Having thwarted two possible J-D runs, Oneida inched ahead 1-0 in the third inning, Jamie Delgenio scoring after a single, stolen base and a misplay on Jenn Rougeux's infield hit.
J-D tied it, 1-1, in the fourth inning as Keeler escaped a bases-loaded jam, then watched Christina Oaster double and run home on Ashley Thompson singled.
But the Indians went back in front for good in the top of the fifth. Rougeux again slapped a single, then came home on Jenna Didio's triple. Erika Williams' perfect bunt single allowed Didio to score, making it 3-1.
Two more runs would follow in the top of the seventh, the margin doubling as Rougeux and Didio both scored again.
All through the late innings, the Red Rams tried to answer, but Oneida pitcher Beth Rocco shut it down, giving up eight hits but striking out five.