Jun 03, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
This time around, the Solvay softball team was not going to wait to decide matters.
Having seen its season nearly end against Altmar-Parish-Williamstown in the previous round, the Bearcats jumped all over Adirondack in Monday night’s Section III Class B final at the Gillette Road complex in Cicero, eventually prevailing 11-3 to bring home a second consecutive sectional championship.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Chelsie Delepruto, whose three hits on the night included a two-run home run. “I wouldn’t want to be a part of any other team.”
Any opponent that faced Solvay was going to be in trouble. The Bearcats’ harrowing 2-1 victory over APW in the semifinals on May 28, where the Bearcats escaped three bases-loaded threats by the Rebels and needed a run in the bottom of the seventh to prevent extra innings, had alerted them to how it could all end in a flash.
“We thought a little too much (against APW),” said Solvay head coach Phil Merrill. “The kids were more relaxed tonight. It was a great team effort, top to bottom.”
What helped, from a relaxation standpoint, was getting to the plate and producing, which is what Solvay did in the first two innings to seize control as it sprinted out to a 7-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first, Nicole Antonacci led off with a double, moved to third and scored on Delperuto’s sacrifice fly. Then, with two out and two on, Kiersten DiBello drove them home with a two-run single, and then would race around to score on Jordan Michelletti’s single.
Not stopping there, the Bearcats added to that total in the second, again with Delperuto driving in a run with her bloop single before Molly McGuire, who went four-for-four on the night, delivered a run-scoring single and Jackie Gardner’s fly ball netted another run.
“We just had a lot more confidence at the plate,” said Delperuto. “We just put the ball on the bat, see it and hit it.”
Given the run support she didn’t get against APW, Gardner kept Adirondack quiet most of the night, alllowing all three of the Wildcats’ runs in the top of the fourth.
But the Bearcats quickly answered when Brenna Poli singled and Delperuto followed with a blast well over the left-field fence to make it 9-2. Solvay tacked on two more runs in the sixth to get to double digits, the way it has in 14 of its 20 victories this season.
With the sectional title again secured, Solvay now seeks payback in Friday’s Class B regional final against Windsor (Section IV), which takes place Friday at 5 p.m. at the BAGSAI complex near Binghamton.
A year ago, these same two teams met in the regional round at Gillette and Solvay, up 2-0 going to the seventh inning, squandered that lead as Windsor prevailed 4-2. Now they meet again, with a berth in the June 14 state final four in Glens Falls at stake.’
“I’m so ready to play them again,” said Delperuto.