Nearly two weeks after it was supposed to get underway, the Jamesville-DeWitt softball team finally did so, and reminded everyone why the path to Section III Class A glory still runs right through them.
The long-awaited opener pitted the Red Rams against Christian Brothers Academy, and with one big fourth inning, J-D put the Brothers away and rolled to a 14-0 victory.
Neither team had scored a run when, in the fourth, the Rams erupted against CBA pitcher Monica Hanson. Going around the order once (and nearly twice), J-D didn’t let up until it had scored 10 runs, helped in no small part by poor defense from the Brothers, who finished with six errors.
Emily Clapper led J-D with a team-high four hits, while Kerri Keeler went three-for-three. Clapper, Hannah Gunther, Carly O’Hern and Erica Siegel each drove in two runs, while Alyssa Robens had a double and RBI and Keeler also drive in a run.
Keeler, returning as J-D’s ace in the pitcher’s circle, struck out 13 batters in her five innings of work, giving up just two hits before Robens worked the last two innings in relief.
As a follow-up on Saturday, the Red Rams shut out Chittenango 13-0, getting a one-hitter from Keeler that included 15 strikeouts.
J-D got all of its runs in the second through fifth innings as Siegel managed three hits, four runs scored and two RBIs. O’Hern, Clapper and Gunther matched that two-RBI effort, with O’Hern getting three hits and three runs scored. Alexis Cantor and Julia Fairbanks had one RBI apiece.
East Syracuse-Minoa, always a prime challenger to J-D’s throne, had its opener at Cortland, a tense and low-scoring affair where a single late rally proved enough for the Spartans to edge past the Purple Tigers 2-1.
For five innings, it stayed 0-0, pitchers Danielle Ventrone (for ESM) and Cady Walts (for Cortland) in control, but in the top of the sixth the Spartans got to Walts for both of its runs as Ventrone tripled home Tiffany Evans and then raced to the plate on an error.