With the milestone of head coach Kerry Bennett’s 600th win safely tucked away, the Cicero-North Syracuse softball team could return to normal business.
Often, that meant breathtaking performances from junior Sydney O’Hara, who dominated again in last Tuesday’s 5-0 shutout of West Genesee at the Gillette Road complex.
In their first meeting with the Wildcats since last year’s Section III Class AA final, the game was tight most of the way. WG pitcher Morgan Nichols only flinched in the bottom of the fourth inning, when C-NS poked out a run on Morgan Phillips’ single that scored Brittany Paul.
So it was still 1-0 going to the bottom of the sixth inning. Finally, the Wildcats solved Nichols, pounding out four runs, most of them coming home when O’Hara unleashed a three-run home run, her third round-tripper of the season.
Of course, that single run was enough, given how well O’Hara was pitching. The junior limited WG to three hits, all singles, and a walk while striking out 11.
A day later, the Northstars breezed past Fayetteville-Manlius 8-1, taking charge with three runs in the third inning. Two more runs followed in the fifth, and just to be sure, C-NS put together another three-run rally in the seventh.
Kaleb Lenart pitched and matched O’Hara’s 11-strikeout effort from the day before, allowing five hits and two walks. Of O’Hara’s three hits, two were doubles as she drove in three runs, while Amy Van Hoven managed three hits and two RBIs. Phillips and Brooke Szabo also drove in runs as Paul and Sydney Harbaugh both scored twice.
Despite the rough weather on Saturday, the Northstars still managed to get in both games of its doubleheader against visiting Horseheads, earning a sweep to improve to 6-0 on the season.
In the 22-6 opener, C-NS scored eight runs in the fourth inning and seven more in the fifth, on the way to 23 hits overall. Paul led the push, going five-for-five, scoring three runs and finishing with three RBIs.