Having flourished in the exhaustive battle for the OHSL Liberty division regular-season title (which it ended up sharing with Westhill), the Cazenovia softball team now focused on going after the Section III Class B championship.
Given the no. 3 seed in a 15-team tournament bracket, the Lakers did not get a bye, nor did it have an easy time in Thursday's opening round at Veterans' Park against no. 14 seed Lowville - but it still beat the Red Raiders 5-3.
Nicole Chiarello struggled in the top of the first inning, giving up two runs. But Cazenovia countered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the first, then added a pair of runs in the second to move ahead for good.
Tacking on a fourth-inning run, the Lakers had five of its nine hits go for extra bases. Kara Stadler and Melanie Arehart both tripled, with Chiarello, Abby Eschen and Belle Hoagland earning doubles.
As she pitched a four-hit complete game, Chiarello also finished with a pair of RBIs as Eschen, Stadler and Korena Fenton also drove in runs.
In Saturday's Class B quarterfinal, also at Veterans' Park, Cazenovia faces no. 11 seed Marcellus, who knocked off Phoenix 6-4 to get this far and is looking to avenge two regular-season defeats to the Lakers.