Though it faced a lot of work in the last week of the regular season, the Baldwinsville softball team relished the chance to build up some momentum as it got nearer to the Section III Class AA playoffs.
B’ville, in fact, won three straight games, including a 4-3 conquest of defending Class A champion Phoenix, before running into Cicero-North Syracuse on Thursday afternoon and taking a 5-1 defeat.
Yet the Bees showed that it could hang close to the reigning Class AA dynasty. Aside from a rough first inning where hard hits and an error led to three Northstars runs off Liz Campbell, the game was played on fairly even terms.
It was still 3-0 when, thanks to a walk, hit batsman and infield hit from Isabella May, the Bees got on the board against C-NS ace Sydney O’Hara in the bottom of the second inning.
More was threatened in the bottom of the third when Maggie Deredita doubled to the wall with one out. Deredita, however, tried to stretch it into a triple, and was tagged out at third. B’ville never got close to scoring again, as O’Hara did not allow a hit in the ensuing 4 1/3 innings and finished with 14 strikeouts.
This followed, by 24 hours, the big win over Phoenix, earned as much through poise as by execution.
Three times in the first four innings, the Bees poked across runs against Firebirds ace Brittany Sears to take a 3-0 lead. And pitcher Keanna Wolcik protected that lead with six shutout innings.
However, in the top of the seventh, Phoenix rallied to tie it, 3-3, requiring Campbell to get the final two outs in that frame. Unfazed, the Bees got to Trisha Hetko, who relieved Sears, for the winning run in the bottom of the seventh.