Back in late April, the Cicero-North Syracuse softball team got tripped up for the only time this season, beaten by its own mistakes in a 9-2 defeat to John Jay-East Fishkill in a tournament near Binghamton.
But the second time the Northstars ventured into tournament play, it turned out quite different, C-NS going 4-0 and winning last weekend’s 32nd annual Ace Morabito Memorial Tournament at Herkimer’s Muddville complex.
Newly focused after a scare from Syracuse East back on Thursday, C-NS unleashed both of its pitching stars, Sydney O’Hara and Kalet Lenart, in Saturday’s opening rounds.
It began with the Northstars shutting out Carmel, 3-0, in a game where O’Hara had to be sharp because Carmel blanked C-NS for most of the contest.
Not until the bottom of the sixth did the Northstars break the 0-0 deadlock, scoring all three of its runs on hits from O’Hara, Lindsey Silfer and Morgan Phillips. Then O’Hara closed out another one-hit masterpiece in the seventh, finishing with 13 strikeouts against three walks allowed.
Lenart took her turn in the second round, against Mount Laurel, from New Jersey, and with some key early run support, Lenart relaxed and pitched quite well in C-NS’s 5-1 victory.
Going the route, Lenart blanked Mount Laurel until the sixth inning, allowing six hits and striking out five. By then, the Northstars had the lead thanks to a run in the first inning and two-run rallies in the third and fifth.
Silfer continued her hot hitting with a double, single and three RBIs, while O’Hara doubled and also drove in a run. Lauren Floyd had a pair of hits.
When Sunday’s play began, C-NS turned back Valley Central 2-0. Van Hoven doubled, tripled and scored a run as Phillips added two hits. Single runs in the first and seventh innings proved enough as O’Hara threw her second straight one-hitter and piled up 17 strikeouts.