In advance of Monday’s key showdown with Auburn, the Cicero-North Syracuse softball team was busy enough, between league competition and a four-game tournament, the Blue Chip High School Challenge, at the BAGSAI complex near Binghamton.
First, the Northstars, rained out of last Monday’s game against Baldwinsville, resumed play with a 22-0 victory over Syracuse East shortened to five innings by more rain.
A six-run first inning and 10-run fourth inning highlighted C-NS’s efforts, as it didn’t even need Sydney O’Hara in the lineup. Jessica Francatti had four RBIs, while Morgan Phillips and Lindsey Silfer each drove in three runs.
Kalet Lenart, who pitched and held Syracuse East to one hit, got three hits, including two doubles, and two RBIs at the plate, while Kelly Corbin added a pair of RBIs. Cassie Franklin also had a pair of hits.
That offense would show up again on Saturday at BAGSAI, where in Saturday’s opening rounds the Northstars would tear through two more opponents, bashing Rochester Mercy 20-1 and Elmira Free Academy 16-1.
The Mercy game included a nine-run first inning and 10-run fourth inning. O’Hara again went deep, while Harbaugh managed three hits, three runs scored and matched O’Hara’s three-RBI total. Silfer doubled twice as she, along with Phillips and Corbin, drove in two runs apiece.
Against Elmira Free Academy, C-NS again wasted little time, erupting for 11 runs in the first inning. O’Hara, who struck out 10 in her pitching effort, doubled twice and drove in two runs, with Harbaugh, Phillips and Brittany Paul each getting two RBIs. Jenna Tartaro racked up four hits, as did Harbaugh.
Then came a rematch with John Jay-East Fishkill, the same team it lost to in last year's state Class AA final. Once up 3-0 and 4-2, C-NS could not hold on, the Patriots rallying to prevail 5-4 in eight innings.