May 06, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
All that was at stake when the Cazenovia softball team clashed with Westhill twice in a span of 24 hours was first place in the OHSL Liberty division.
So naturally they split those games, each side winning on the road, settling close to nothing.
A weather postponement on April 6 set up this unique pair of games. In the month since, the Lakers had rose to challenge the Warriors’ role as league favorites, and now would get a chance to see exactly where it stood.
In Part I Tuesday afternoon, timely hits and the terrific pitching of Alyssa Boswell produced a breakthrough as the Lakers beat the Warriors 3-1 to go in front of the league standings.
Matched up against Westhill ace Toni Secreti, Boswell proved better, blanking the Warriors through the first five innings as her earned run average dipped to 0.62.
By that point, Cazenovia enjoyed a 3-0 lead, as both of the hits it got off Secreti proved to be damaging.
Alissa Easterly came to bat in the top of the third and hit one past everybody, as she rounded the bases for a solo home run to put Cazenovia up 1-0.
An inning later, with two runners in scoring position, Kara Stadler punched a single that scored both of them. Cazenovia wouldn’t get another hit — and it wouldn’t be needed.
Westhill finally got to Boswell for a run in the bottom of the sixth, but she escaped that jam, then blanked the Warriors in the seventh to close it out.
This whole turn of events pleased the Lakers — but also riled up Westhill, who got revenge a day later at Veterans Field by beating Cazenovia 11-2.
Again, the Lakers would strike first, with a run in the second inning. Only this time, Westhill answered quickly, going in front with two runs in the top of the third, then using a six-run outburst in the top of the fifth to get away.
Boswell took the loss, with Lindsey Smith seeing an extended relief stint (three-plus innings) and Easterly earning another RBI. Secreti, to support her pitching effort, drilled a home run and finished with four RBIs.
Cazenovia did not look ahead to this game, taking care of its namesakes from Skaneateles last Monday afternoon in an 8-5 decision at Austin Park.
Steady production was the story here, as Cazenovia got two runs in the first, fourth and sixth innings to build a 6-0 lead. Skaneateles made a late surge, but yet another two-run push in the top of the seventh helped the visitors hang on.
Stadler smashed a home run, finishing with two RBIs. Lindsey Smith doubled and drove in a run, while Melanie Arehart and Abby Eschen earned RBIs, too. Smith pitched all seven innings to get the win.
Kept from going to Solvay Friday by a rainstorm, the Lakers were set to make a longer trip Saturday for play in the Phoenix Tournament.
Cazenovia won in the opening round, pounding Mexico 13-3 as it earned 17 hits and took charge with a five-run second inning and four runs in the third inning that made it 9-0.
Belle Hoagland doubled and finished with three RBIs. Korena Fenton had a triple and RBI as Smith, Taylor Malmsheimer, Abby Eschen and Meghan Kurucz also drove in runs.
In the finals, the Lakers would meet host Phoenix, who bashed Skaneateles 20-2 in its opening-round game.
Again, the Firebirds would dominate on the offensive side, beating the Lakers 11-3. Cazenovia used two runs in the fifth inning to eat into a 5-0 deficit, but the Firebirds answered with four runs in the bottom of that frame to draw clear.
Emily Mastropaolo pitched and took the loss as Fenton and Stadler got one RBI apiece. Phoenix’s Jill Murphy, in addition to being the winning pitcher, had a double and three RBIs.
Cazenovia (8-3, 7-1 league) was back home Tuesday to face Fabius-Pompey before it pays a Friday visit to Homer.