When placed as the no. 9 seed for the Section III Class B playoffs, the Cazenovia softball team knew the odds of a deep run were long, especially with unbeaten top seed Solvay looming as a possible opponent.
Adding to the adversity was the weather, which twice postponed the Lakers’ opening-round game against no. 8 seed Westhill.
Finally, they got going on Saturday – and when they did, Cazenovia was ready, unleashing its offense in a mid-game burst that put the Warriors away as the Lakers prevailed by a score of 10-3.
After an exchange of first-inning runs, Cazenovia, who rallied to beat Westhill 6-4 in their regular-season meeting on April 30, took over in the top of the third, batting around and scoring five times against Westhill pitcher Kelly Mascari.
Two more runs followed in the fourth, plus single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, as the Lakers finished with 15 hits overall, three each from Nicole White and Rachel McLaughlin, who combined for three RBIs and also scored two runs apiece.
Haley O’Brien doubled and got two RBIs, while Josie Chiarello also drove in two runs. Maggie Johnson and Nicole Chiarello both scored twice, with Chiarello combining with Nicole White for pitching duties, surrendering just five hits between them.
It proved very different when Cazenovia traveled a few miles north of Westhill for Monday’s quarterfinal against top seed Solvay, and the top-seeded Bearcats ended the Lakers’ season with a 9-0 victory.
Having not played in nine days, Solvay, the only team in the 15-team bracket with a first-round bye, got three runs in the bottom of the first inning off Nicole Chiarello.
When Chiarello surrendered three more runs in the fourth, White replaced her, and managed to minimize the damage offered by the potent Bearcats lineup, led by Chelsie Delperuto, who pounded out a triple and managed five RBIs.
And none of the Cazenovia batters could solve Solvay ace Jackie Gardner, who only gave up two hits – one each to O’Brien and Sarah Liddell – while managing 15 strikeouts. Cazenovia saw its season end with a record of 12-9.