May 17, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Long before any of its current players were born, the Marcellus softball team celebrated a league championship season in 1981.
Three-plus decades later, the Mustangs reigned again, climbing to the top of the Onondaga High School League’s Liberty American division on the strength of a double-digit win streak.
And it was only fitting that, as Marcellus romped past Chittenango 18-4 in last Thursday’s clincher, Kathy Kusnierezyk, a member of that ’81 team, was on hand for the game, presenting each of the players roses after it was done.
The game itself had Marcellus leading 5-0 through two innings before the Bears pulled within one with four runs in the top of the fourth. Unfazed, the Mustangs put together an eight-run outburst in the bottom of the fourth and were on its way.
Best of all, the Marcellus lineup spread around its production. Meghan Witkowski doubles, scored three times and finished with three RBIs, while five others – Molly MacLachlan, Rylie Spicer, Shannon Donahue, Kassie Leyma and Jayne Leyma – drove in two runs apiece. Clare Manahan scored three runs as she doubled twice and joined Nicole Wynne with single RBIs.
That win streak reached 10 in a row last Monday as the Mustangs, who had just moved into the state Class B rankings at no. 25, went to Westhill and roared past the Warriors 11-4.
A bit slow out of the gate, Marcellus trailed, 2-1, when its offense got going with three runs in the top of the third inning. Three more runs followed in the fourth, and four-run outburst in the fifth all but sealed things.
Witkowski had three of the Mustangs’ 12 hits, including a double, and produced a team-best three RBIs. MacLachlan added two hits, two runs scored and two RBIs, while Manahan doubled and scored three times. Spicer and Kassie Lema matched MacLachlan, driving in two runs apiece.
Though she allowed 12 hits, MacLachlan never let Westhill put a big inning together, constantly escaping trouble with solid defense behind her, a contrast to the eight errors the Warriors committed. Kelly Mascari hit a solo home run for Westhill as Katie Lobello added a pair of RBIs.
Marcellus made it 11 in a row Tuesday in a 20-2, non-league rout over Onondaga, breaking it open with six-run rallies in the fourth and sixth innings, with a four-run fifth in between.
MacLachlan hit her team’s only home run and finished with four RBIs. Lema and Wynne each drove in three runs, with Dominique Weeks adding a pair of RBIs. Weeks and Witkowski both scored four times and, with Donahue, each notched three hits.
The streak finally ended on Wednesday, with a 4-3 defeat to Phoenix, in which the Firebirds grabbed a 4-0 lead by the top of the fifth, led by Meghan Barry, who had a double and two RBIs.
Wynne’s two-run single keyed a three-run rally by the Mustangs in the bottom of the fifth, but it could not catch up against Phoenix pitcher Megan Brown, who recorded nine strikeouts and limited Marcellus to three hits, one each by Wynne, MacLachlan and Lema.
That defeat proved a small bump in the road, though, and when Marcellus handled Chittenango 24 hours later, its long championship drought was over.