Apr 22, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Back from the April school break, the Chittenango softball team hoped to keep up with some of the bigger-name contenders in the OHSL Freedom division.
And for much of the week, the Bears did so, carrying momentum into Friday’s game at defending Class A champion Phoenix and nearly knocked off the Firebirds before taking a painful 13-12 defeat.
Chittenango caught Phoenix without its pitching ace, Brittney Sears, and jumped to a 6-0 lead, mostly due to a five-run second inning.
By the end of the third, though, the Firebirds were up 8-6, and so began an exchange of runs that continued until the top of the sixth, when Chittenango scored four times and moved ahead 12-10.
Even that didn’t hold, though, as Phoenix, overcoming poor defense (it committed six errors), got a run in the sixth, and then brought the tying and winning runs in the seventh.
Kaleigh Koegel led the Bears with three hits and three RBIs. Seven others drove in runs as Alyssa Mroczek got two hits and Malarie Mohorter scored three runs. Phoenix’s Trisha Hetko led her side with five hits and four RBIs.
When the Bears went to Cortland last Tuesday afternoon, it capitalized on two big rallies to gain an 8-5 victory over the Purple Tigers.
The two sides were tied, 1-1, when Chittenango put together a three-run third inning to move ahead for good. More important, though, was the four runs the Bears scored in the top of the fifth, which helped them absorb Cortland’s four-run answer in the bottom of the fifth and stay in front.
Malarie Mohorter produced a pair of hits as she, along with Koegel, Jennifer Sternberg and Autumn Strickler drove in runs. Koegel pitched the whole way, too, allowing seven hits but still getting the win.
More excitement followed on Wednesday, at Mexico, where the Bears were pushed to eight innings but still edged the Tigers 4-3.
After exchanging two-run rallies in the second inning, it stayed quiet until the sixth, when Chittenango scored to go up 3-2, only to have Mexico answer again in the bottom of that frame.
So it was 3-3 into the top of the eighth, where again the Bears pushed itself in front as Mackenzie Hall’s run-scoring brought home Mroczek, and this time held on as Koegel got the last three outs, part of a four-hitter that included nine strikeouts.
Hall went three-for-four, including a double, picked up three RBIs and scoring a run. Alexa Farsaci managed a pair of hits as Lauren Malloy drove in the other run.
The bitter loss to Phoenix followed, and the effects lingered as, in a rain-shortened game Saturday, Chittenango lost 22-1 to Westhill, Gwen Dougherty and Kathleen Clark leading the Warriors with four RBIs apiece.
Chittenango’s baseball team resumed play last Tuesday at Cortland, but its bats remained as cold as the temperatures as it lost to the Purple Tigers 4-1.
Not until the seventh inning did the Bears get a run off Cortland pitcher Brian Hughes, who struck out 11 and limited the visitors to three hits, two of them by Wes Burghardt.
Combined, Bears hurlers Devin Christopher and Sean Cliff did a solid job, but Cortland used single runs in the second and fourth innings, plus two runs in the sixth, to get away as Jon Prior produced a pair of RBIs.
Poor as Chittenango’s hitters were on this day, they turned it around in a hurry during Wednesday’s 19-8 destruction of Mexico.
At one point, the Bears trailed 4-3, but it took control by scoring six runs in the top of the fourth inning and tacking on nine more runs over the next two frames on its way to 17 hits overall.
Christopher, Nick Bailey and Aaron Endres each had three hits, but it was Greg Jasek that really caught fire, doubling twice to clear the bases and piling up a career-best seven RBIs along the way. Burghardt, Erik Kurz, Nick Bailey and Brad Phelps each drove in two runs. Kurz also worked 3 2/3 innings in relief of Endres to pick up the win.
Now the Bears went for back-to-back wins Friday, at Phoenix, and got it, topping the Firebirds 6-4. Chittenango broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the third inning, but still needed single runs in the fifth and sixth to account for the final margin.
Jasek earned 11 strikeouts in his five innings of work on the mound to get the win. He also had two hits, scored twice and drove in two runs as Brad Phelps added three RBIs and Christopher also drove in a run. Burghardt scored a pair of runs and, along with Cliff, pitched a scoreless inning of relief.