Apr 16, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
As it turned out, the Jamesville-DeWitt softball team’s challenges only grew after it claimed the season-opening Fayetteville-Manlius tournament.
And of the five games in the season’s opening week, none carried the weight of the last one, Saturday’s reunion with defending Section III Class A champion Phoenix. It was the Firebirds that knocked out the Red Rams 4-3 in last year’s Class A semifinals.
Many of the same players were on hand for this edition – most notably Phoenix pitcher Brittney Sears, who was the unquestioned star as she carried the Firebirds past the Rams again, this time in a 2-0 shutout.
Phoenix, who was no. 6 in the first state Class A rankings of the spring, got all the offense it needed with single runs in the first and third innings. That included Sears hitting a solo home run, one of her three hits on the day, as Meghan Barry drove in Jenna Zaia with the other run.
J-D ace Kerri Keeler gave up eight hits overall, recorded seven strikeouts and blanked Phoenix from the third inning onward. Yet the Rams could do little against Sears, who surrendered just two hits and struck out five.
Right after the F-M tournament, J-D faced Onondaga the next day, overwhelmingthe Tigers in a 27-2 blowout. The fun included the Rams scoring eight runs in the bottom of the second inning and putting up 10 runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Each of the nine J-D batters had at least two hits and scored at least two runs, adding up to 24 hits overall. Tessa Devereaux led with four hits, while each of Alexis Cantor’s three hits was a double, and led to a team-best four RBIs.
Ashley Thompson doubled, scored three runs and managed three RBIs as Deb Toscano, Maggie Austin, Mary Young, Rachel Honis and Tessa Devereaux each got a pair of RBIs.
A Thursday trip to Christian Brothers Academy followed, and though it had some scary moments, the Red Rams still fought past the Brothers 7-4.
Young, with a first-inning double and a third-inning two-run home run, helped the Red Rams build a 6-0 lead by the fifth inning. But CBA countered with four runs in the bottom of the fifth, loading the bases before sophomore pitcher Kerri Keeler could escape the jam.
It took Young’s fourth hit, a single, in the top of the sixth to help J-D to an insurance run, and Kerri Keeler blanked the Brothers over the last two innings to close it out, finishing with eight strikeouts. Jordan Sheridan took the loss as Julie Cuomo and Monica Hanson each drove in one run.
As it turned out, CBA played Phoenix a day before J-D did, and had a late chance before the Firebirds dug in and beat the Brothers 5-3.
Trailing 3-0, CBA got to Sears with three runs in the top of the sixth inning to tie it, 3-3, the key blow being Molly O’Brien’s two-run single as Jessica Valerino earned the other RBI.
Phoenix answered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, though, and Sears pitched a scoreless seventh, finishing with 11 strikeouts overall.