May 15, 2007
Trojans turn it around
Beat CHS, 13-3
Photo provided by Dan DePerno
Homer Central shortstop Stephanie Hartquist snares high throw as Cortland High’s Brittany Babcock slides safely into second. Host Homer was a 13-3 home field winner.
There were two concerns for Homer Central coach Cris Colasurdo Monday as her softball girls prepared to host Cortland High.
The first was the after-prom effect, that sluggish feeling after a busy Saturday into Sunday spring ritual. The second was the lack of offensive hitting during the recent four-game losing streak.
Both concerns proved to be mute points as the Trojans unleashed a 14-hit attack, including five extra-base hits, during a 13-3 OHSL Freedom Division victory at Homer Elementary School.
Homer improved to 6-6 in the_division and 10-8 overall. The Purple Tigers fall_to 3-10 in division and overall play.
“When you can hit the ball and not make errors, you can win games,” said Colasurdo. “We had that today. We did hit the ball well. We got some timely hits and we strung some hits together in other innings. Our pitching, with Ashley (Brown) and Halee (Tiley), was good and we made just one error.
“We did talked before the game about needing to turn things around this week,” Colasurdo said of the losing streak. “We know that if we can win the next three games and some things happen with some of the other teams, we can move back up and get a better seed for sectionals.”
“This was one of the few times this season that our pitching did not allow the defense to make plays,” said Cortland coach Mick Lowie. “Homer just hit the ball. It was as simple as that. Maggie (Reagan) probably had more walks today that any other game this year. We are a pretty good team when you hit the ball right at us. Our pitchers tried to keep the pitches down so the batters would hit the ball on the ground to our infield, which is the strength of this team.”
Homer grabbed a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning as 12 Trojans went to the plate. After two walks and an error loaded the bases with one out, Mary Phelps scored on a wild pitch. Gabby Luety singled to load the bases again before Katie Wick was hit by a pitch to force home Riley. Run-scoring singles by Stephanie Hartquist and Lindsay Richards followed for a 4-0 Trojan lead. Wick scored on a passed ball and Hartquist on a fielder’s choice to complete the second-inning run production.
The Trojans added three more runs in the third, thanks to five more hits. The first was a one-out solo home run by Luety (2-for-3) to deep centerfield. Katie Wick followed with a double passed the shortstop and Harquist smacked triple to centerfield. An RBI-single by Richards plated Hartquist and chased Cortland starting pitcher Maggie Reagan from the game. Natalie Mieras gave on a finished the game. Vickie Smith greeted Mieras with a single and Brown had one of the longest at-bats ever as she fouled off 15 pitches with two strikes before drawing a two-out walk to load the bases, but Mieras got a ground ball out to end the threat.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Cortland strung together three of its five hits in the game. Heather Tier started the rally with a bloop single to right field. Kayleigh Mital drew a walk and Lauren Shirley followed with a single. The ball as misplayed, which allowed Tier to score and the other two runners to advance one more base. Andrea Turcsik delivered a single that allowed Mital to score. After one out, Brittany Babcock walked to load the bases and Brown walked Melanie Del Rosario to force in the third run before striking out the next two batters to end the Purple Tigers threat.
Riley came on in the top of the sixth and pitched two shutout innings for the Trojans.
“Ashley has been getting strong every game since coming back from her injury,” Colasurdo said. “She pitched more like her normal self today. Everything is really coming back to her. Halee came in and did a nice job in the final two innings for us.”
After scoring one run in the bottom of the fifth on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Brown, the Trojan power went on display again in the sixth. Danielle Swarm walked to lead off the inning. With out out, Hartquist (3-for-5) stepped to the plate and belted a home run over the left fielder’s head to score two runs. Those were the third and fourth ribbies for the junior slugger. Richards was up next and the senior completed for her 5-for-5 day with a solo shot in the same spot as Hartquist for the 13-3 advantage.
Despite the 10th loss of the season, Coach Lowie continues to see improvement.
“We have made some huge improvements,” he said. “Just in terms of their level of play and their competitiveness during the game. The last time we had a game like this was the first game against Homer. Every other game has been very competitive. We do have a young starting line-up with six sophomores and one freshman. We are going through those growing pains, but that should pay off for us in the coming years. That is what we are hoping for. We really have played some good softball this year.”
Both teams return to action Wednesday, CHS hosting Phoenix while Homer travels to Jamesville-DeWitt for a doubleheader.
Purple Tigers put dent in Homer playoff hopes
Cortland High baseball coach John Tobin was succinct in summing up his team’s 7-3 victory over visiting rival Homer Central Monday at Beaudry Park.
“It was a good team effort,” he said after seeing his team win for the second time in 13 games, all OHSL Freedom Division affairs, this season. “Tim (Fulton) did a good job on the mound, and the rest of the kids were there to support him. They weren’t always perfect, but they were always there.”
Trojans coach Robert Nasiatka was somewhat baffled by his team’s performance, but no less succinct in expressing the view from the other side of the diamond.
“We came out flat,” he said, shaking his head, his squad’s sectional hopes having taken a hit. “We’ve fought back in every game we’ve won, but were flat from the beginning in this one. One of our goals was to make sectionals, and there’s no excuse (for his team’s performance) in a rivalry game. We should have come out a lot more intense than we did.
“We’re 4-8 now, and we hope to get in five more games (through Saturday, the sectional seeding deadline), so we’ve got to win three of them,” added Nasiatka.
While Cortland is out of the sectional picture, Tobin noted: “We still wanted to make an impact in the league. There was today’s game, and when you look at the one game that separates Jamesville-DeWitt and East Syracuse-Minoa (first and second, respectively, in the league), it’s the game ES-M lost to us.”
That 6-5 Purple Tiger triumph on May 2 was, until Monday, the only mark CHS mad made in the “W” column this season. Fulton was the winning pitcher in that one, and the senior right-hander improved to 2-2 by tossing a complete-game six-hitter with no earned runs, four strikeouts and no walks on Monday. The Purple Tigers did commit five errors in the contest (to three for Homer), but, like their hurler, refused to be beaten on this day.
“We were coming off a 5-4 loss in the bottom of the seventh to Chittenango in our last game, and the kids were all bearing down,” Tobin said. “They didn’t want the same thing to happen tonight. There are three or four games that we’ve let get away like that, or we’d be looking at a sniff of sectionals, too.”
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Cortland responds to Bears challenge
CHITTENANGO — Cortland High girls survived a slight scare to remain a share of first place in the OHSL Freedom Division lacrosse standings.
Tied at halftime with host Chittenango Monday afternoon, the Purple Tigers took the lead on goals by Janelle Stegeland and Beth Cutia and went on to post a 6-4 victory.
Tied 3-3 at halftime, Stegeland scored off a Kim Natoli assist with 16:54 left to play to put CHS up for keeps. Cutia added a goal off a free position scoring chance for a two-goal edge.
Chittenango pulled to within a goal with 8:46 left to play when Jenna Barber scored, but the Purple Tigers held on. Stegeland netted her fourth goal of the game off a Cutia assists with two ticks left for the final margin.
CHS kept alive an 11-game winning streak.
“It certainly wasn’t the prettiest win and there were many bumps along the road, but it was a win in which everyone on the field contributed something,” said Coach Kim Pace, as CHS improved to 8-2 in the division and 12-3 overall. “We started slow, but pulled together and played hard when it mattered. With each game I continue to see improvements, which is very important at this point in the season. Tonight we were much smarter with our shot selection, scoring on 6-of-13 shots.”
While Stegeland added an assist to her four goals, Cutia collected two goals and three assists as CHS escape.
Chittenango got goals from four different players, with Lindsay Clifford picking up two assists. The Bears are 3-5 in the Freedom Division, 6-9 overall.
Kailey Krausse and Shannon Regan scored in the first half to put the hosts up 3-2, CHS pulling even with 2:12 to go in the opening half when Stegeland converted off a Cutia feed.
CHS then pulled away, with Caitlin Stevens doing a great job defensively keeping top Chittenango scorer Krausse from doing additional damage.
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