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Solvay softball rolls to Class B sectional title

Bearcats blank Holland Patent, stay unbeaten

Solvay pitcher Jackie Gardner sends one to the plate in Saturday night's Section III Class B championship game against Holland Patent at Syracuse University. Gardner would toss a shutout as the Bearcats rolled past the Golden Knights 12-0 for the sectional title.

Solvay pitcher Jackie Gardner sends one to the plate in Saturday night's Section III Class B championship game against Holland Patent at Syracuse University. Gardner would toss a shutout as the Bearcats rolled past the Golden Knights 12-0 for the sectional title. Larry Jones

— The Bearcats expanded on that 2-0 lead in the third, with a single and bunt putting runners on first and second with nobody out before Chelsie Delperuto singled home Nicole Antonacci. A passed ball led to Julie Gardner’s two-run single and a 5-0 margin.

“It was good to get on top,” said Merrill. “It helped our team relax.”

With a big lead, Jackie Gardner never let HP respond. She struck out nine Golden Knights in the first four innings while only allowing a pair of hits.

By contrast, Cole left in the fourth, replaced by Leah Harter, but Solvay kept on hitting. It tacked on two more runs on an HP throwing error after Julie Gardner drew another walk, and Kiersten DiBello hit a bases-clearing double that put the Bearcats into double digits.

Cimini’s two-run, two-out single in the fifth put on the final touches, and two innings later, Jackie Gardner finished off her shutout and ignited a celebration years in the marking.

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