Though the path to those wins proved different, the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool softball teams both earned crucial decisions with the Section III Class AA playoffs close at hand.
The Northstars nearly found itself on the wrong end of a regular-season sweep from Baldwinsville last Monday afternoon, but rallied in the seventh inning to edge the Bees 4-3.
The two sides exchanged runs in the third inning and C-NS scored a run in the fourth to go in front 2-1. It stayed that way until the sixth, when B’ville got to Megan Tully for two runs to claim the lead. Isabella May scored two of the Bees’ runs, with Serena Capsello scoring the other.
Meanwhile, Keeanna Wolcik, the same pitcher who tamed the Northstars 2-1 on April 3 at Gillette Field, was on the brink of doing the same here, carrying that one-run lead into the top of the seventh, but seeing C-NS poke across the tying and go-ahead runs.
All told, Wolcik gave up six hits and struck out two, but Tully, who managed to get the final three outs to prevent any B’ville comeback, managed 11 strikeouts. Khaliyah Flournory tripled and singled, while Morgan Phililps managed two hits. Flournory, Lauren Floyd, Rachelle Walters and Jess Callisto scored the Northstars’ runs.
In contrast to C-NS’s tense drama with B’ville, Liverpool had a far easier time of it in last Monday afternoon’s 10-0 shutout over Syracuse East.
As Dana Nicoletti was throwing a complete-game three-hitter with 12 strikeouts, the Warriors banged out 16 hits and scored in each of the first five innings.
Ericka Sadowski had a team-high four hits, while Nicoletti went three-for-three and walked, too. Peyton Bellrose’s pair of doubles led to two RBIs as Dominique LaRose and Jenna Wike added one RBI apiece. Sadowski scored a pair of runs.