DeWitt If the Jamesville-DeWitt softball team fretted in any way about its 2-0 defeat to defending Section III Class A champion Phoenix on April 7, it didn't last long.
For the Red Rams were back on its home turf two days later, hosting East Syracuse-Minoa, and its potent bats roared back to life as it beat the Spartans 9-2.
ESM had returned from a school break week spent in Myrtle Beach. S.C., where it had gone 2-3 against a variety of opponents from across the country. Since pitcher Julie Maselli earned both wins, she got the nod on this day to face Rams ace Kerri Keeler.
Immediately, J-D got out in front, 1-0, in the bottom of the first inning as Lexi Cantor's ground-rule double brought home a run. That would be it for a while, Maselli retiring six in a row at one point and Keeler, her counterpart, getting four consecutive strikeouts on her way to 11 Ks for the afternoon.
But the game broke open for the Rams in the bottom of the fourth. Maggie Austin's double launched the rally, which continued with an error and wild pitch that brought Austin home.
Moments later, Lexi Lerman raced home on a dropped fly ball to left. Two infield hits later, Mary Young, J-D's hottest hitter in the early going, put up her own two-run single that made it 5-0, and Deb Toscano followed with a run-scoring single.
All told, it was five runs that gave J-D a 6-0 edge. Though ESM would get on the board with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, the Rams answered by getting three more runs, Toscano adding another double as she matched Young and Cantor by earning a pair of RBIs. Rachael Gocklin drove in one of those late Spartan runs.
Not far away from this encounter, J-D hosted ESM in baseball, too, and a single rally, plus great pitching from Max Bregande, pushed the Red Rams past the Spartans 2-1.
Only in the first inning did J-D get to ESM pitcher Steve Brownell, scoring twice. Dan Canfield had an RBI hit, driving home Chris Lenish, while Paul Fitzgibbons used one of his two hits to drive home Canfield.
Brownell blanked the Rams from there, pitching a complete game despite getting just one strikeout. But Bregande went the route, too, limiting ESM to a third-inning run and five hits overall while earning seven strikeouts. Bregande gave up a lone walk.