Heading into the Section III Class A playoffs, the Chittenango softball team had put its early-season struggles far behind them -- and now posed a real threat to make a deep tournament run.
The Bears reached double digits in the win column last Monday, against Cortland, as Kaleigh Koegel put up another shutout and beat the Purple Tigers 5-0.
Though she allowed six hits and three walks, Koegel kept Cortland from turning those chances into runs, often escaping with strikeouts as she posted 10 before it was done.
Chittenango inched ahead with single runs in the first and third innings, then locked things up with a three-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth.
Mackenzie Perry emerged with a pair of RBIs as Brandy McDermott, Haley Landers and Samantha Weeks each drove in one run. Koegel and Shelby Bogle added doubles as Weeks and Koegel got two hits apiece.
One more win was attained Thursday, against Mexico, as the Bears tamed the Tigers 8-1. Here, the game was 0-0 until the fourth inning, when Chittenango (11-7, 10-5 league) exploded for five runs, all it would need, though it would tack on three more runs in the sixth.
McDermott, Koegel, Landers and Allysa Mroczek each had two hits, with Weeks joining Landers as they earned two RBIs apiece. Koegel, McDermott, Erin McPeak and Jennifer Sternberg drove in single runs as McPeak scored twice. All this backed up Koegel's three-hit pitching that included 18 strikeouts, one of the best totals of her career.
Only on Saturday did the Bears cool down, falling to Fulton 7-1 as the Red Raiders used six runs in the first two innings to move out in front after McDermott scored in the top of the first. Chittenango got just two hits off Fulton ace Jessica Palmitesso, who had 15 strikeouts to pass the 1,000 mark for her high school career.