Though it knows that it will chase favored Cicero-North Syracuse in the Section III Class AA playoffs, the Liverpool softball team still has plenty of reason to think it can prevail, too.
The Warriors engaged with visiting West Genesee last Monday afternoon and, pushed by Dana Nicoletti in the pitcher’s circle and Brianna Harris at the plate, beat the Wildcats 7-0.
Liverpool greeted WG pitcher Ashley D’Avirro, back from a wrist injury that sidelined her most of the season, with five runs in the bottom of the second inning.
Two more runs followed in the fourth as Harris went three-for-three, doubling twice and scoring a pair of runs. Nicoletti had a double, single and two RBIs, while Alicia Hansen, Marissa Hutt, Nicole Cerrone, Peyton Bellrose and Jenna Stanzione each drove in one run.
Nicoletti had one of her best pitching performances of the season, holding the Wildcats to four hits and amassing 13 strikeouts in her complete-game shutout.
Two days later, the Warriors went to Oswego, where one big rally proved enough for a 6-3 victory over the Buccaneers.
Pitching again, Nicoletti struggled early as Oswego grabbed a 2-0 first-inning lead. From there, though, she settled down, only giving up four hits and five walks, but striking out six.
Liverpool got a run in the second, but still trailed, 2-1, when it put together a four-run fifth inning. Carrie Stoddard’s home run was the biggest blow as she finished with three RBIs, while Hansen drove in two runs. Holly Clark and Allyse Burgos each notched a pair of hits.
Now the Warriors go into the AA sectional tournament as the no. 2 seed, where it will face either no. 7 seed Central Square or no. 10 seed Utica Proctor in the quarterfinal round, looking to advance to a semifinal next week against Auburn or West Genesee.
C-NS, as the top seed, will play no. 8 seed Syracuse East or no. 9 seed Rome Free Academy in the quarterfinal round. A win gives C-NS a semifinal date with Baldwinsville or Oswego.