Apr 18, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Liverpool softball leadoff hitter Alicia Hansen won her personal battle with Cicero-North Syracuse ace Sydney O’Hara, twice picking up hits against a pitcher who had already thrown two no-hitters this season.
However, that was one of the few bright spots for the Warriors on a windswept Thursday afternoon as the Northstars rolled to a 12-0 victory in the latest chapter of this long-time rivalry.
It didn’t matter much that C-NS was short-handed, missing senior Kelly Corbin, who was in New York City watching her older brother, Patrick, pitch for the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Yankees.
And the conditions – a 25-mile-per-hour wind, blowing in from right field, that caused all sort of adventures with any ball hit in the air – couldn’t stop the Northstars, either, as it mowed down the last team other than itself to win a Section III Class AA title, back in 2009.
Dana Nicoletti, pitching for Liverpool, appeared to have engineered an ideal start, holding C-NS scoreless in the first inning and getting the first two outs in the top of the second. Then it all fell apart, starting with the bottom of the Northstars’ order.
Freshman Beth Bonin hit a two-out double. Eighth-grader Breanna Melfi, getting a start in place of Corbin, drew a walk, and Brooke Szabo’s single scored Bona.
After Lauren Floyd walked, Amy Van Hoven hit a hard grounder to short, and when it was mishandled, two more runs scored, making it 3-0. O’Hara walked, and a throwing error on Lindsey Silfer’s grounder brought two more runs home before Morgan Phillips delivered a two-run double.
All told, C-NS had picked up seven runs after the first two batters were retired in the second. O’Hara started another rally in the fourth with a double, leading to three runs, two of them coming home on Bonin’s double, her third hit of the day. O’Hara would also get three hits.
As for O’Hara’s pitching, she struck out eight of the first nine batters she faced, including Hansen. But the sophomore slugger got her revenge in the fourth, delivering a clean single up the middle. She would later add an infield hit to go two-for-three on the day.
Having picked up two more runs, C-NS rested O’Hara after six innings of work, those two hits allowed and 14 strikeouts. Kalet Lenart pitched a 1-2-3 seventh to close out yet another shutout.
Before facing C-NS, the Warriors got one tune-up, going to Auburn last Monday afternoon and using steady production to put away the Maroons 12-5.
Having blazed to its own 4-1 start, Auburn was not to be taken lightly, and the Maroons proved it by scoring twice off Nicoletti in the bottom of the first to grab a 2-1 lead.
That didn’t last, though, as Liverpool used two runs in each of the next two innings to go in front 5-2. Though it never trailed again, the Warriors still needed three runs in the fifth and four runs in the seventh to draw clear.
Nicoletti, aside from her 11-strikeout complete-game effort, had a career day at the plate, going five-for-five with two runs scored to anchor an 18-hit attack.
Allyse Burgos and Dominique LaRose each had three hits and one RBI, while Kaylah Quilty doubled and drove in two runs. Hansen hit a solo home run and scored three times.
C-NS, on the other hand, saw its game with fast-rising Central Square rained out last Tuesday afternoon. But it got made up 24 hours later, and O’Hara used the occasion to pitch her second no-hitter in as many outings this spring during an 11-0 shutout of the Red Hawks.
This time around, O’Hara really made sure her defense got to rest, striking out 20 batters, meaning that Central Square got the ball in play just once in seven innings.
At the plate, Northstars got to Red Hawks pitcher Kelsey Morgan for seven runs in the second inning and four more runs in the fourth. Phillips doubled and drove in three runs, while O’Hara and Bonin had two RBIs apiece. Van Hoven, Silfer and Szabo had one RBI apiece.
After beating Liverpool, C-NS would face its first real adversity during Saturday’s tournament at the BAGSAI complex near Binghamton, absorbing a 10-2 defeat to Section I powerhouse John Jay-East Fishkill.
But in the game that followed against Corning, the Northstars pulled out a 5-4, nine-inning decision. Down 1-0, C-NS went in front with three runs in the bottom of the third, and still had a 4-2 lead before Corning tied it in the top of the seventh.
The Northstars finally prevailed with a run in the bottom of the ninth, capping off a patient performance where it notched 11 hits to Corning’s four. C-NS hosts another non-league game this Saturday against Horseheads, just after Liverpool’s clash with West Genesee on Thursday afternoon.
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