Cicero-North Syracuse pitcher Lindsey Richards allowed just one run in 4 1/3 innings of Monday's game against Liverpool at the Gillette Road complex, helping the Norrthstars defeat the Warriors 5-1.
In the long-standing softball struggle between neighborhood rivals Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool, the Northstars still have the upper hand.
A combination of tremendous defense, one big timely hit from Julianna Vassallo and clutch pitching from the duo of Lindsey Richards and Ari Corasaniti gave the Northstars a 5-1 victory over the Warriors Monday at the Gillette Road complex.
These teams had last met in the 2017 sectional Class AA final at Onondaga Community College. C-NS, who had lost two regular-season games to Liverpool, prevailed 5-3, and a key to that outcome was the five innings of scoreless relief by Richards, who this time got the start against the Warriors’ Jenna Wike.
C-NS had lost three games in a tournament near Akron, Ohio the previous weekend against tough competition – 12-1 to long-time New Jersey power Donovan Catholic, plus defeats to Ohio schools Madison (7-3) and Alder Jesuit (10-5).
Liverpool had not played in 10 days since beating Auburn on April 13, but it still had great chances throughout the early stages to get in front of the Northstars, only to get thwarted.
The Warriors loaded the bases in the top of the second, but saw C-NS second baseman Brooke Nicolaos dive to rob Lourdes Soto of a possible two-run single and throw Soto out to end the threat.
Then Vassallo did her start turn in the third inning. It started with a diving catch in left field to rob Alicia Nash of extra bases. Then she came to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the third after Jordyn Maldonado’s RBI single had put C-NS in front 1-0.
Vassallo hit a sinking drive to right field that was just out of reach, which cleared the bases and extended the Northstars’ lead to 4-0.
Far from done, the Warriors put up a run in the top of the fifth and loaded the bases again with one out. Here, Corasaniti relieved Richards and, against the heart of Liverpool’s order, struck out Nash and caused Ashley Teixeira to ground out, each on 3-2 pitches.
All told, Corasaniti threw 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. The Northstars tacked on a run in the bottom of the sixth and celebrated another win over its biggest rival – but knows the two will meet again this Wednesday at Liverpool.
In the meantime, C-NS couldn’t celebrate much because it had two tough games the next day, and won both of them, handling Baldwinsville 5-2 and shutting out West Genesee 10-0 as Brandi Feeney provided a one-day, one-player power surge.
Against B’ville, the Northstars had a 1-0 lead when Feeney belted a fourth-inning grand slam, breaking the game open.
Corasaniti took it from there, pitching a complete game as she overcame five walks and four hits, only surrendering Chloe Branshaw’s two-run single in the sixth that broke up the shutout.
In the West Genesee game, Feeney homered again, one of three hits on the day as she got three RBIs, with Maldonado and Ally Ciafratta driving in two runs apiece as Vassallo, Corasaniti and Ally Thompson each got one RBI.
Given that kind of run support, Richards could afford some mistakes, but she pitched quite well, limiting a potent WG lineup to six hits, two each by Emily Winton and Abbey VanHorn, while striking out five.
That same day, Liverpool rebounded in a big way, shutting out Fayetteville-Manlius 12-0 as Teixeira pitched a gem, giving up six hits, yet keeping the Hornets off the board as she also earned four of the Warriors’ 19 hits, getting two RBIs.
Building a 10-0 lead through three innings, the Warriors saw Wike and Delanie Alberici each drive in three runs as Nash got a pair of RBIs. Wike scored four times as Sophia Harris got three hits and Olivia Hayden two hits, both of them scoring twice.