May 02, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
For a few moments, the Baldwinsville softball team had Cicero-North Syracuse in real trouble during Wednesday night’s clash at the Gillette Road Middle School complex in Cicero.
And while the reigning Section III Class AA champion Northstars escaped with a 2-1 victory, it was the Bees leaving the field with a newly-reinforced confidence in its ability to stay with the area’s most vaunted program.
That momentum is largely due to the pitching depth B’ville now possesses. After seeing senior Liz Campbell face some mid-season struggles as the Bees’ record fell to 6-5, head coach Carl Sanfilippo brought up freshman Keeanna Wolcik from the JV roster.
Immediately, Wolcik proved her worth, tossing a complete game four-hitter and striking out 10 in B’ville’s 5-2 victory over Rome Free Academy, just 24 hours before the trip to C-NS.
Wolcik got the start again on Wednesday, and B’ville had the good fortune (at least at the outset) of not having to face the Northstars’ vaunted senior ace, Sydney O’Hara, as Kalet Lenart took her turn in the pitcher’s circle.
C-NS got a run in the bottom of the first, aided by a series of wild pitches, but Wolcik settled down and followed it up with a scoreless second, getting strong defensive play behind her.
Then, in the top of the third, B’ville went right after Lenart as Maggie D’Eredita singled, Carly Gutchess reached base with a bunt single and a sacrifice bunt moved them over to second and third.
With one out, Lenart walked Serena Capsello to load the bases, and Isabella May followed up with yet another successful bunt, reaching base as D’Eredita scored to tie it, 1-1.
Having seen enough, C-NS coach Mary Beebe removed Lenart and put in O’Hara, who struck out Danielle Sayler, and then Wolcik, to escape the jam.
A dropped pop fly in the bottom of the third led to the Northstars’ go-ahead run, Amy Van Hoven driven home on Lauren Floyd’s single, but again Wolcik got out of further trouble.
In the fourth, the well-rested Campbell took over, and she proceeded to blank the potent C-NS lineup the rest of the way. Combined, Wolcik and Campbell gave up just three hits, two of them to Van Hoven, none for extra bases.
They held O’Hara without a hit, this after she went four-for-four with a home run and three doubles in C-NS’s last game, a 13-0 win over West Genesee back on Monday. The two runs allowed were, by far, the fewest a Section III foe has given up to the Northstars this spring.
All of this gave B’ville a chance to pull even – if it could get to O’Hara. But it only got one good chance, in the fifth, where Campbell reached base on a dropped third strike, and pinch-runner Madeline moved to third base on a wild pitch and steal, but was stranded there when May struck out.
In fact, O’Hara, in her 4 2/3 innings of work, recorded 13 strikeouts, including three more in the seventh to close it out, leaving B’ville fans disappointed, but proud that it had made the Northstars work to the end to salvage this one.