Late May, and Memorial Day weekend, means plenty beyond the mere sphere of sports, but in local softball it’s reached a point where a Section III Class AA championship showdown between Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool is an annual occurrence.
And so it will be again on Monday at Carrier Park, when the Northstars try to keep the Warriors from reclaiming the sectional title after C-NS ended Liverpool’s three-year run a season ago.
They got to the final in vastly different manners.
In Saturday’s semifinals at the Gillette Road complex, C-NS, even with the advantage of playing on its home field, had to battle hard to get past no. 3 seed Auburn 3-2, while Liverpool had little trouble toppling no. 4 seed West Genesee 8-1.
Even though Auburn had played in the Salt City Athletic Conference Empire division this spring, its 13-7 record spoke of a quality team that had plenty of good wins on its ledger, including one over reigning sectional Class A champion Jamesville-DeWitt right before the playoffs.
So the Maroons didn’t get rattled when C-NS struck for two runs in the first inning and another run in the second as Jordyn Maldonado earned a pair of RBIs and Brandi Feeney also got an RBI.
Instead, Auburn scored twice in the second, aided by a throwing error on Emma Nolan’s bunt, and pitcher Kathryn Foster kept the Northstars off the board the rest of the way, only allowing seven hits overall.
That put great pressure on C-NS pitcher Ariana Corasaniti, but she was up to it, stranding possible tying runs in the fifth and sixth innings and then tossing a scoreless seventh inning to end it. All told, Corasaniti surrendered six hits, but earned 10 strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Liverpool, who had beaten West Genesee three times this season (twice by a single run), fell behind 1-0 in the top of the third, but answered with four runs in the bottom of the third to take control.
Two-run rallies followed in the fourth and fifth innings as, on the way to 11 hits, the Warriors got two RBIs apiece from Ashley Teixeira and Alicia Nash, with Sophia Harris adding two hits as she, along with Gina Meyers and Olivia Hayden, also drove in runs.
In the middle of it all, Jenna Wike doubled twice and notched an RBI while pitching quite well again, limiting WG to four hits and one walk while getting strong defense behind her.