Rebounding in a big way from its season-opening, extra-inning defeat to Oneida, the Cazenovia softball team took a huge early step toward winning the OHSL Liberty division title Friday afternoon by going to Westhill and notching a 5-2 victory over the Warriors.
In the pitching showdown between Nicole Chiarello and Westhill ace Toni Secreti, Chiarello blanked the Warriors until the sixth innings, earning a complete-game victory that included 10 strikeouts without a walk.
Cazenovia got to Secreti for two-run rallies in the third and fifth innings to take a 4-0 lead and tacked on a run in the seventh after Westhill closed it to 4-2.
Taylor Malmsheimer led the attack with three of her team's hits, including a double, and two RBIs. Korena Fenton had two hits and three runs scored. Emily Mastropaolo doubled and drove in a run, with Belle Hoagland adding an RBI. Kara Stalder also scored a run.
Meanwhile, the Cazenovia baseball team had the bad fortune of playing, for its opener, Westhill, the two-time defending state Class B champions, who began the quest for a three-peat by beating the Lakers 7-2.
Tyler Slocum got the starting assignment for the Lakers, and managed to prevent the big Westhill rally through his five-inning stint. However, the Warriors did strike for two runs in both the first and third inning and got three more runs in the fifth.
Meanwhile, Cazenovia could not get anything off Westhill aces Alex Godzak and Kevin McAvoy, combining to strike out 10 times against them. Finally, in the seventh innings the Lakers crossed the plate twice as Ben Langey and Ben Davis both doubled and scored.
All told, the Lakers had just four hits, and McAvoy, who struck out five in his two-inning stint, starred at the plate, too, with three hits, including a double, and four RBIs as teammate Nick Vitagliano struck a solo home run.