West Genesee surprisingly joined Cicero-North Syracuse as Section III Class AA softball semifinal winners Wednesday night at Hopkins Road Park, ruining the possibility that the Northstars and rival Liverpool would have yet another title showdown.
The no. 3 seed Wildcats rallied late to upend no. 2 seed Liverpool, 4-3. That excitement followed the top-seeded Northstars' 7-0 shutout of Oswego earlier in the evening.
CNS and Liverpool have combined to win the last eight sectional titles. It looked like that streak would be guaranteed to reach nine heading into the seventh inning of Wednesday's second game.
Liverpool led 3-1, and needed only three outs to advance. There was nothing to suggest what was to follow.
The Warriors literally threw it all away in the seventh, commiting three errors. Add that to three West Genesee hits, some aggressive Wildcat baserunning and you've got a perfect mixture for a decisive three-run rally.
"You've got to make those plays, (and) we didn't," Liverpool coach Nick Spataro said.
WG pitcher Ashley Amidon -- whose sixth inning solo home run started the Wildcats comeback -- got a great defensive play from third baseman Katie Regin, and two other outs to book her squad's place in Saturday's final.
The Wildcats also turned a second inning triple play --- a 4-3-5 head turner --- and WG head coach Jeff Ross said that gave his squad a spark it carried the rest of the game.
"That triple play - momentum," Ross said. "Getting out of a bases load jam momentum. I think (that) momentum was on our side when we finally got the key hits."
Trish Andrews led the winners with three hits including a big one in the seventh inning. Kaleigh Churchill had two hits and scored one run.
There were no such late inning heroics in the opener. CNS pitcher Sydney O'Hara shut out the Bucaneers, scattering five hits and striking out 10 as the Northstars earned a shot at back-to-back sectional titles.