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Northstars handle Liverpool in AA softball final

O'Hara throws three-hitter, hits pivotal home run

Cicero-North Syracuse senior Amy Van Hoven (2) makes solid contact with a pitch during Saturday's Section III Class AA final against Liverpool at Syracuse University. Van Hoven and the Northstars shut out the Warriors 5-0 for its fourth consecutive sectional title.

Cicero-North Syracuse senior Amy Van Hoven (2) makes solid contact with a pitch during Saturday's Section III Class AA final against Liverpool at Syracuse University. Van Hoven and the Northstars shut out the Warriors 5-0 for its fourth consecutive sectional title. Larry Jones

— Sydney O’Hara expects to spend a lot of time on the softball diamond at Syracuse University over the next four years.

But O’Hara got to play - and stand out - in an important game at the SU diamond while still wearing a Cicero-North Syracuse softball uniform during Saturday’s Section III Class AA final against Liverpool.

Using her pitching prowess and her potent bat, O’Hara led the Northstars past the Warriors 5-0 for a fourth consecutive sectional title. C-NS will face Section II champion Guilderland Tuesday in the Class AA regional final at the Gillette Road complex.

O’Hara gave up just three hits and finished with 13 strikeouts. And she also hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the third that broke the game open.

Liverpool was looking to avenge two regular-season defeats to C-NS, and sent freshman Peyton Bellrose to the pitcher’s circle to face the potent Northstars lineup.

Perhaps showing some initial nerves, O’Hara hit Liverpool’s leadoff hitter, Dominique LaRose, in the top of the first. LaRose stole second base to give the Warriors an early scoring chance, but O’Hara used a popout and a pair of strikeouts to erase that threat.

In the bottom of the first, Lauren Floyd beat out an infield hit. Bellrose showed some caution and walked O‘Hara, but Lindsey Silfer singled home Floyd to give C-NS a 1-0 lead. Allyse Burgos prevented further damage with a running catch near the fence on Khaliyah Flournory that kept two runs from scoring.

When O’Hara came back to the plate in the bottom of the third after Floyd’s second single, again Bellrose was careful at the start. But with the count three balls and one strike, O’Hara smashed Bellrose’s offering over the right-field fence for a two-run home run that extended the Northstars’ lead to 3-0.

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