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.