May 28, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Four local softball teams found themselves in the midst of the Section III Class B playoffs, none of them facing more pressure than Solvay, whose undefeated regular season led to a no. 1 seed and high expectations to win it all.
At least through the first phase, the Bearcats were doing just fine, as it took out no. 9 seed Cazenovia 9-0 in Monday’s quarterfinal round.
Already well-rested thanks to a first-round bye, Solvay got more rest when bad weather pushed the early rounds back, so by the time the Bearcats took the field again, nine days had passed since its May 18 regular-season finale, a win over Oneida.
None of that rust showed, though, as Solvay got to Cazenovia pitcher Josie Chiarello for three runs in the bottom of the first innings and three more runs in the fourth, all in support of pitcher Jackie Gardner, who tossed a two-hit shutout where she struck out 15 Laker batters.
Chelsie Delperuto amassed five RBIs at the plate, the big blow a bases-clearing triple. Brenna Poli added a pair of RBIs as Shanen Sullivan scored three runs.
On the other end of the Class B sectional bracket, Marcellus, the no. 7 seed off its first league title in 32 years, also had to wait two days for its opening-round game against no. 10 seed Phoenix, and then had to battle hard to earn a 6-4 victory over no. 10 seed Phoenix.
The Mustangs, who split two regular-season meetings with Phoenix, were out to avenge a 4-3 defeat to the Firebirds on May 15 that broke up an 11-game win streak, but saw leads of 2-1 and 4-3 slip away as Phoenix tied it, 4-4, in the top of the sixth.
But in the bottom of the sixth, Molly MacLachlan delivered a clutch double that scored Clare Manahan and Jennie Delia with the go-ahead runs, and MacLachlan pitched a scoreless seventh to preserve the win. Manahan finished with three hits as Jayme Lema produced a pair of RBIs.
This sent the Mustangs to Boonville for a tough Memorial Day Class B quarterfinal against no. 2 seed Adirondack, who had smothered no. 15 seed Clinton 21-2 in its opening-round game.
Ignoring that fact, and overcoming the long road trip, Marcellus knocked out the Wildcats 6-5 in a game that went back and forth all afternoon.
Marcellus seized a 2-0 lead in the second inning, only to have Adirondack tie it in the bottom of the third. But the Mustangs took charge with a four-run fifth as MacLachlan, Rylie Spicer, Shannon Donahue and Nicole Wynne each had RBIs.
Far from safe, the Mustangs saw Adirondack get a run in its half of the fifth to make it 6-3, and in the bottom of the seventh scored twice and had the tying runs on base with one out before MacLachlan managed to record the final two outs on grounders.
In the Class B semifinals Wednesday at the Gillette Road complex in Cicero, Marcellus meets no. 6 seed Holland Patent, while Solvay plays no. 4 seed General Browns. The winners of those games advance to Saturday’s final at Syracuse University.
Cazenovia got to that quarterfinal by eliminating Westhill, the no. 8 seed, in a twice-postponed opening-round game that was not played until May 25, when the Warriors lost to the Lakers 10-3.
What was a 1-1 game broke open in the top of the third, when Cazenovia got to Westhill pitcher Kelly Mascari for five runs. The Lakers added four more runs in the next three innings and gathered up 15 hits overall, three each by Nicole White and Rachel McLaughlin.
Westhill never scored again until the bottom of the seventh, when it notched two more runs. Mascari added one more home run in her last high-school appearance and got a pair of RBIs, while Mackenzie Davis had two of the Warriors’ five hits and drove in the team’s other run.
Of those Class B teams, Bishop Ludden, the no. 14 seed, took the earliest exit, falling 6-1 to no. 3 seed South Jefferson last Thursday in an opening-round game unaffected by the rainouts elsewhere.
The Gaelic Knights managed just one hit off Spartans pitcher Brooke LaLone, and though Cazzandra Griglock did contain most of South Jefferson’s lineup, Angela Cataldo tagged her for a home run, triple and three RBIs.