Cicero For a few moments, the Baldwinsville softball team had Cicero-North Syracuse in real trouble during Wednesday night's clash at the Gillette Road Middle School complex in Cicero.
And while the reigning Section III Class AA champion Northstars escaped with a 2-1 victory, it was the Bees leaving the field with a newly-reinforced confidence in its ability to stay with the area's most vaunted program.
That momentum is largely due to the pitching depth B'ville now possesses. After seeing senior Liz Campbell face some mid-season struggles as the Bees' record fell to 6-5, head coach Carl Sanfilippo brought up freshman Keeanna Wolcik from the JV roster.
Immediately, Wolcik proved her worth, tossing a complete game four-hitter and striking out 10 in B'ville's 5-2 victory over Rome Free Academy, just 24 hours before the trip to C-NS.
Wolcik got the start again on Wednesday, and B'ville had the good fortune (at least at the outset) of not having to face the Northstars' vaunted senior ace, Sydney O'Hara, as Kalet Lenart took her turn in the pitcher's circle.
C-NS got a run in the bottom of the first, aided by a series of wild pitches, but Wolcik settled down and followed it up with a scoreless second, getting strong defensive play behind her.
Then, in the top of the third, B'ville went right after Lenart as Maggie D'Eredita singled, Carly Gutchess reached base with a bunt single and a sacrifice bunt moved them over to second and third.
With one out, Lenart walked Serena Capsello to load the bases, and Isabella May followed up with yet another successful bunt, reaching base as D'Eredita scored to tie it, 1-1.
Having seen enough, C-NS coach Mary Beebe removed Lenart and put in O'Hara, who struck out Danielle Sayler, and then Wolcik, to escape the jam.