May 03, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Over the course of a week, the Jamesville-DeWitt, East Syracuse-Minoa and Christian Brothers Academy softball teams would face each other in a trio of league contests, the Spartans salvaging a split by the time it was done.
That round-robin got going last Tuesday, when J-D visited ESM and, with timely hitting and a solid pitching effort from Kerri Keeler, beat the Spartans 6-1.
Keeler got 10 of her 13 strikeouts in the first four innings, only surrendering a first-inning run on Nikki Casella’s RBI double that scored Danielle Ventrone and put ESM up 1-0.
In the second inning, J-D tied it, 1-1, and moved out in front in the third when Ventrone twice threw wild pitches that scored Paige Sherling and Maggie Austin.
The key moment came in the bottom of the fifth, when ESM loaded the bases with one out and had two of its best hitters coming up But Keeler coaxed Brittany Evans to pop up in the infield, and snared Ventrone’s hard-hit grounder for the third out.
Fired up by that escape, J-D scored twice in the sixth, both coming home on Alyssa Robens’ double, and added a run in the seventh for the final margin.
ESM lost again a day later in a 5-4, eight-inning classic to Mexico, where the Spartans trailed 3-1 before tying it with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. It stayed 3-3 until the eighth, when the Tigers scored twice and ESM could only manage a run in response.
Michelle Burgun pitched for the Spartans, striking out seven and allowing seven hits. Ventrone, Tiffany Evans and Courtney Legare each had one RBI as Casella scored twice. For Mexico, Carissa Woolson had two hits and two RBIs as Kennedy Lamb limited ESM to five hits.
Badly needing a win, ESM paid a visit Thursday to CBA, who had won four in a row and looked to avenge a 4-3 defeat to the Spartans on April 9. Again, it proved close – and again, the Spartans won by a single run, edging past the Brothers this time in a 2-1 verdict.
ESM got both of its runs in the first two innings, Maggie Kelly and Haley Albertson crossing the plate as Legare got credit for an RBI. Down 2-1, CBA cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the second with Arianna Cavallaro’s single scoring Claire Pierret.
From there, CBA ace Jordan Sheridan shut down the Spartans, earning eight strikeouts and only allowing five hits. Ventrone matched her, though, pitching six innings and holding the Brothers to three hits before turning it to Michele Burgun, who escaped a big jam in the seventh to get the final outs and bring the Spartans a win.
As that was going on, J-D found itself in a tight spot at Homer, pushed to the wire before Robens delivered another big blow and the Rams pulled out a 5-3 victory over the Trojans.
At one point, the Rams trailed, 2-1, thanks to a pair of fourth-inning Trojan tallies, the only things Keeler would allow in a five-hit, 12-strikeout effort.
But J-D tied it, 2-2, in the top of the sixth, and then, in the seventh, put two runners on base for Robens, who smashed Anni Wynn’s offering over the fence for a three-run home run that proved the game-winner.
J-D had played back on Monday, blanking Cortland 3-0 as Keeler threw a one-hitter that included 14 strikeouts. Single runs in the first, third and fifth innings proved enough as Maddy Devereaux had three hits and an RBI, with Maggie Austin adding two hits and two runs scored.
CBA put up lots of early offense in last Monday’s game against visiting Fulton and hanging on from there to defeat the Red Raiders 7-4.
A three-run first inning got the Brothers in front, and it added three more runs in the next two innings to make it 6-0. Sheridan displayed her power with a home run as she and Pierret both drove in two runs. Annie Carhart managed a team-high three hits, while Jessica Valerino had two hits and an RBI. Sarah Roberts and Ariana Cavallaro also drove in runs.
Staked to that big lead, Sheridan blanked Fulton until it got two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, but that wasn’t enough as the senior ace overcame nine Red Raiders hits, striking out five.
A day later, it was CBA’s turn to beat Cortland by the same 3-0 margin that J-D did, getting run-scoring hits from Valerino and Pierret in the bottom of the first inning and seeing Carhart tack on an insurance run with her RBI single in the sixth that scored Valerino.
The Purple Tigers managed just four hits off Sheridan, who did not walk a batter and piled up eight strikeouts to earn her fourth straight win since the defeat to J-D on April 23.
In a scheduling change, the rematch between J-D and CBA was moved up to Monday from its original May 16 date, kicking off the regular-season homestretch for both sides.