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Marcellus softball ends long league title drought

Mustangs rout Chittenango 18-4 to clinch first place

Marcellus infielder Meghan Witkowski strikes for another hit in last Monday’s 11-4 victory over Westhill, where she had three hits and three RBIs. . Witkowski and the Mustangs ended the program’s 32-year league title drought later in the week.

Marcellus infielder Meghan Witkowski strikes for another hit in last Monday’s 11-4 victory over Westhill, where she had three hits and three RBIs. . Witkowski and the Mustangs ended the program’s 32-year league title drought later in the week. Frank Witkowski

— 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.

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