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Softball Mustangs fall to Canastota in 11 innings

One more hit, here or there, and maybe the Marcellus softball team makes a serious run at the Section III Class B championship.

The Mustangs' dreams were thwarted, though, in last Tuesday's Class B quarterfinal, where no. 2 seed Canastota came from behind to knock off Marcellus in a 3-2, 11-inning classic.

They were supposed to play on May 28, but rainstorms, combined with wet field conditions at Canastota, forced the game to be pushed back three days.

At least in the early stages, the delay didn't bother Marcellus one bit. Jessie Manahan led off the top of the first inning with a double off Raiders ace Jessica Patterelli, and Molly MacLachlan's liner got mishandled, allowing Manahan to score. Singles by Sophie Jackson and Tabby McBride brought MacLachlan home, making it 2-0.

And there it stayed for a while. MacLachlan was effective in the pitcher's circle, shutting down a potent Canastota lineup with the aide of some fine defense.

The Raiders stayed patient, though, and in the bottom of the sixth caught up. A Mustang error and wild pitch put Sam McCarthy on second, and Patterelli singled her home, reaching second on the relay throw. Alexis Havens followed with a single, scoring Patterelli to tie it 2-2.

Marcellus had several chances to break that tie, getting two runners on base in the seventh and another in the eighth without converting. In the 10th, the international tie-breaking rule that puts a runner on second base was applied.

Here, Canastota catcher Valerie Baer spoiled the Mustangs' plans. First, she made two great catches in foul territory in the 10th, ending one threat. An inning later, with Manahan trying to score, Baer caught Ally Bernier's throw and tagged Manahan, keeping it 2-2.

Then, in the bottom of the 11th, with McCarthy on third base as the winning run with one out, everyone expected Baer to swing away, even her own coaches. Instead, she laid down a suicide squeeze bunt, catching the Mustangs out of position as McCarthy scored the winning run.

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