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J-D repeats as sectional softball champs

Red Rams again blank Oneida in Class A final

Jamesville-DeWitt's Kerri Keeler delivers a solo home run in the fourth inning of Saturday's Section III Class A final at Syracuse University. That drive, plus a two-run shot from Alyssa Robens, was enough for the Red Rams to beat the Indians 3-0 and repeat as sectional champions.

Jamesville-DeWitt's Kerri Keeler delivers a solo home run in the fourth inning of Saturday's Section III Class A final at Syracuse University. That drive, plus a two-run shot from Alyssa Robens, was enough for the Red Rams to beat the Indians 3-0 and repeat as sectional champions. Larry Jones

— Strong pitching, a well-timed power surge and near-perfect defense all came together for the Jamesville-DeWitt softball team - and the end result is a second consecutive Section III Class A championship.

Kerri Keeler tossed a two-hit shutout and also hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to put her team on the board as the Red Rams defeated top seed Oneida 4-0 in Saturday’s Class A final at Syracuse University.

It’s J-D’s eighth sectional title in head coach Phil DeAugustine’s 16-year tenure. He said every title is tough to attain, and this one was no different.

“It’s just as hard every year,” he said. “At no point could we coast.”

But at least the Rams could relax a bit more with Keeler in the pitcher’s circle. Just as she had done in the 2012 sectional final (a 5-0 J-D victory over Oneida), Keeler kept the Indians in check, striking out six.

“I went into the game knowing I had to pitch my best, and I did,” said Keeler.

It was also Keeler breaking a 0-0 deadlock in the top of the fourth. To that point, Oneida pitcher Ashley Marshall had surrendered a two-out walk to Alexis Cantor in the first and two-out singles to Erika Siegel and Maggie Austin in the next two innings, but escaped each time.

Keeler made sure that Marshall did not escape the fourth. Leading off, she took what she described as a high and inside offering and turned on it, belting it over the left-center field fence to give J-D a 1-0 lead.

With two outs in the fourth, and Emily Clapper on second, Alyssa Robens offered another blast, drilling a fastball well over the left-field fence, a two-run shot that provided the Rams with a three-run cushion.

Though Ally Simons replaced Marshall in the fifth inning and blanked J-D the rest of the way, the Rams didn’t need any more runs, with Keeler and the defense in top form.

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