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J-D softball starts strong, wins F-M tournament

Rams beat RFA in final; Hornets top Cazenovia for third place

— Though it waited a bit longer than some others to take the field, the Jamesville-DeWitt softball team easily made up for it.

The Red Rams, who have most of its lineup back from 2011, were eager to start the 2012 season after making it to last May’s Section III Class A semifinal, only to fall to Phoenix 3-2 as the Firebirds went on to claim the sectional title.

With that as a backdrop, J-D competed in Monday’s Fayetteville-Manlius Tournament and swept to the title, blanking Cazenovia 13-0 in the opening round and toppling Rome Free Academy 7-2 in the championship game.

First, the Rams met the Lakers, who had already played twice and had a 1-1 mark. Single runs in the first and second innings put J-D in front, but the real fun lay ahead.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Rams broke it open with five runs, tacking on four more runs in the fifth and two runs in the sixth, aided in no small part by Cazenovia committing six errors.

Lateja Bryant tripled, walked and scored four runs, while leadoff hitter Tessa Devereaux crossed the plate three times. Deb Toscano managed two hits, including a triple, while Maddy Devereaux had two RBIs and two runs scored. Maggie Austin also scored twice.

Amid all this, pitcher Kerri Keeler shut down Cazenovia’s bats, only giving up three hits, all singles, and striking out 17 batters in her complete-game shutout.

This set up the final between J-D and Rome Free Academy, who had beaten host F-M 9-5 in the other part of the opening round.

After allowing a run in the top of the first inning, J-D surged in front with three runs in the bottom of the first. Single runs in the next two innings followed, and the Rams added to its cushion by scoring twice in the fifth.

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