Cicero-North Syracuse pitcher Sydney O’Hara (11) gathers her teammates for a pep talk during Tuesday’s Class AA regional final, a 7-0 victory over Guilderland. O’Hara threw a two-hitter, struck out 12 and hit a long solo home run in the fifth inning.
Cicero With one more chance to play in front of the home folks at the Gillette Road Middle School complex, the Cicero-North Syracuse softball team gave them another taste of the winning formula that has worked so well over the years.
Another strong pitching performance from Sydney O’Hara, combined with a deep, potent lineup that got better as the game went along, helped the Northstars blank Guilderland 7-0 in last Tuesday’s Class AA regional final.
The quest to get the state title that just eluded C-NS each of the last three years was not about to be halted by a Lady Dutch side that had not made it this far in 15 years prior to beating Bethlehem in the Section II title game on May 31.
In many ways, the Northstars’ regional game followed the pattern of its June 1 sectional final win over Liverpool, with some early offense, a key blast at the plate from O’Hara and her usual domination in the pitcher’s circle.
Of the first 12 Guilderland batters that faced O’Hara, nine of them struck out and two of them (Mallory Harrigan and Tori Greco) walked. Only one of them put the ball in play, a second-inning groundout by Abby Deck.
Meanwhile, C-NS quickly seized a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, making Lady Dutch pitcher Taylor Tewksbury pay for a walk to O’Hara that followed Amy Van Hoven’s leadoff single. With two out and runners on second and third, Morgan Phillips drilled a double that scored Van Hoven and O’Hara.
Thanks to superb Guilderland defense (including a second-inning double play), it remained 2-0 until the bottom of the fifth when, with one out, O’Hara came to the plate. Still without a hit (she had flew out in the third after that first-inning walk), O’Hara took care of that problem.