As far as Solvay softball coach Phil Merrill is concerned, all he’s trying to do is stay out of the way of his talented players as they set out for championship glory.
Technically, Westhill was in the way of the Bearcats Friday afternoon – but not for long. In the only regular-season meeting between the two neighborhood rivals, Solvay hit from beginning to end and flattened the Warriors 19-1.
It didn’t take long for the Bearcats to light up Westhill pitcher Kelly Mascari, as it scored five times in the top of the first inning. Nicole Antonacci led off with a double, and Warrior errors led to three runs before Kiersten DiBello managed a two-run double.
Single runs followed in the second and third inning (one of them brought home by Molly McGuire’s double), but the game broke open in the fourth, when Solvay again batted around and tacked on six more runs to make it 13-0.
Delperuto led off with a solo home run, followed by run-scoring hits from DiBello, Brenna Poli and Antonacci, and it didn’t stop there, either. After a run in the fifth, Solvay scored three times in the sixth inning and twice more in the seventh on Antonacci’s two-run homer.
Meanwhile, Jackie Gardner pitched steadily for the Bearcats, keeping the Warriors off the board, other than Katie Lobello’s solo home run, in her complete-game effort.
Both sides breezed through the preliminaries early in the week, Solvay (who like Westhill had seen its planned April 20 tournament canceled due to weather) returning to the field last Monday and blanking Marcellus 14-0.
A three-run first inning put the Bearcats in front, but it didn’t stop there, Solvay getting to Molly MacLachlan for 18 hits overall as it got three runs in the third and four runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.