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F-M softball upends RFA in playoff opener

At the very least, the Fayetteville-Manlius softball team would get multiple games in the Section III Class AA playoffs.

The Hornets, designated as the no. 8 seed in the AA bracket, hosted no. 9 seed Rome Free Academy in Wednesday's opening round, and two late rallies, plus Amy Bright's pitching, produced a 3-2 victory over the Black Knights.

Bright and her RFA counterpart, Hannah Wasco, sailed through the first three innings, neither ace allowing a run. They stayed even in the fourth, as the Black Knights got on the board, but the Hornets answered with a run of its own, Katie Muller scoring.

F-M's big moment came in the bottom of the fifth, when it got to Wasco for a pair of runs. Meg Stoeckel's hit brought Sophie Long home, and she came around to score when Katherine Thomas singled, her second hit of the day.

Bright allowed a run in the sixth, but tossed a scoreless seventh to help F-M hang on. Overall, she allowed four hits and three walks while amassing 14 strikeouts.

The Hornets advanced to meet top seed and defending champion Liverpool in Saturday's AA quarterfinals. Liverpool beat F-M twice this season, both with shutouts - 1-0 on April 12, then 5-0 on May 21.

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