Cicero Most of the time in recent years, the Baldwinsville softball team found that trying to catch up to the likes of Cicero-North Syracuse was a futile exercise. Just competing with them was a victory unto itself, since scoring more runs than the Northstars appeared impossible.
All of that changed in last Thursday afternoon’s season opener at the Gillette Road Complex. A strong pitching performance from Keeanna Wolcik, combined with timely hits and sound defense, helped the Bees stun the Northstars by a score of 2-1.
Like so many other baseball and softball teams in the area, B’ville had to spend the majority of its early practice schedule indoors. Once the snow melted and things dried up, it was time for the Bees to head outside, and face the C-NS challenge again.
The timing of the game was quite good. The reigning state Class AA champion Northstars lost eight seniors, including pitching ace Sydney O’Hara (now at Syracuse University), to graduation, and were still breaking in a new lineup, though it had beaten Auburn 10-4 in the season opener the day before.
B’ville, who has never even won a Section III title in its program’s history, would battle C-NS to a 0-0 draw through the first three innings as Wolcik allowed some baserunners, but escaped trouble.
Then, in the top of the fourth, a pair of Northstars fielding mistakes led to both of the Bees’ runs as they got to C-NS pitcher Megan Tully. Now, the task was to hang on.
Wolcik, staked to that 2-0 lead, surrendered a run in the bottom of the fourth to cut the margin in half, but over the next three-plus innings she turned back all of the Northstars’ attempts to pull even, earning 11 strikeouts and giving up just five hits and one walk.
For its part, B’ville also had five hits, two of them from Kyra Hunsinger, as Wolcik, Serena Capsello and Melissa Mitchell also earned hits. Between them, Tully and fellow C-NS pitcher Gabriella Corasaniti earned 13 strikeouts.
The Bees, who had games with West Genesee and Oswego postponed earlier in the week, look to build off the momentum of beating C-NS when it has games next week (weather permitting) against Auburn, Fayetteville-Manlius and Liverpool. A rematch with the Northstars does not come until May 12.