So how close was the Baldwinsville softball team to advancing past Oswego in last Thursday’s Section III Class AA quarterfinals?
One strike away, that’s how close.
A single pitch separated the no. 5 seed Bees from a tense victory against the no. 4 seed Buccaneers. But at the last possible moment, Oswego rose up and, on two different deliveries – one right over the plate, the other well off target – ended B’ville’s season in a stunning 6-5 decision.
To that point, all appeared to be going well for the Bees, who had beaten the Bucs 8-2 on May 15, just nine days before their playoff rematch.
In the top of the first inning, B’ville grabbed a 3-0 lead, as a walk and single led to Jessica Testa’s two-run hit that scored Danielle Sayler and Amy Sidorakis. Liz Campbell followed with a triple that brought Testa home.
Oswego closed back to 3-2 in the bottom of the first due to a Bees throwing error, but B’ville earned a run in the second as Sidorakis walked, stole second, moved to third when Sayler walked and scored when the Bucs tried to gun down Sayler stealing a base.
It remained 4-2 until the bottom of the fourth. With one out and the bases loaded, the Bucs’ Mary Montagnola smacked a two-run single to tie it, 4-4, but Campbell kept Oswego from getting in front with a strikeout and groundout.
Just as it did earlier, B’ville recovered to take a 5-4 lead in the fifth due to a single, error and two walks. Now it was Emily Kolenda’s turn to get out of trouble, as the Bees still had the bases loaded, but could not add to the lead.
That would prove quite important as the game entered the bottom of the seventh. Still with that 5-4 edge, Campbell forced Kolenda to fly out, but Caitlyn McRae singled, and then moved to second on a passed ball.