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June 1, 2009

 

Trojans hang on to reach finals

Nip nemesis Marcellus 5-4 to advance

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Homer baserunner Courtney Rainbow (2) slides in safely under the tag of Marcellus second baseman Bailey Donovan (4) on a close call in the third inning of Saturday’s Class B-1 semifinal.

 

Nothing comes easy for Homer Central’s softball team going up against the Marcellus Mustangs.
So when the sixth-seeded Trojans took a 5-1 lead into the sixth inning of Saturday’s Section 3 Class B-1 semifinal game, it was no surprise the seventh-seeded Mustangs were stubborn before falling 5-4 to the host Trojans.
Homer had played its first league game at its new Junior High School location against Marcellus and won 1-0 in 10 innings back on April 17. The Mustangs took the rematch 5-3 on the last day of the regular season.
By winning this rubber match in another tight battle, Homer (16-8) will meet top-seed South Jefferson (22-1) for the B-1 title at 5 p.m. Wednesday on Gillette Road Middle School Complex Field Number I. Marcellus concludes its season at 10-8.
“We knew this would not be an easy game,” said Homer coach Cris Colasurdo, as Jessica Rigg pitched a six-hitter for the Trojans. “Marcellus is a solid team and we had two close games with them during the regular season.
“Jessica pitched a good game,” Colasurdo added. “We played good defense and we hit the ball well. We just missed on a couple of other scoring chances, but we did a good job and will move on. ”
Marcellus grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Homer answered quickly. Alexis Brown led off with a single and Courtney Rainbow reached on an error. With one out, McKenna Riley (2-for-3) singled. Brown beat the throw to home plate as Rainbow raced to third base. Marcellus catcher Sophie Jackson made an errant throw to third base to try and get Rainbow. The ball sailed into the outfield and Rainbow scored for the 2-1 advantage.
The Trojans added two more runs in the bottom of the third. With one out, Rainbow singled and then stole second base. After a second out, Riley singled to put runners at the corners. Ashley Crossway (2-for-3) smacked a double that scored both runners for a 4-1 lead.
Homer scored one more time in the fifth and this run proved to be the game-winner. Crossway hit another double with two outs. She moved to third base on a passed ball and scored when Katie Sinclair (2-for-3) rapped out a single.
Down by four, Marcellus made things interesting in the sixth inning. losing pitcher Gina Cardarelli (2-for-3) drew a lead-off walk. With one out, Jackson belted a triple to score Cardarelli. Marissa Bankey hit a ground ball and the Trojans tried to get runner at the plate, but Jackson was safe. Emily Hunt then hit an infield grounder, the throw sailed into the outfield, allowing Bankey to score as the Trojan lead shrunk to 5-4. Jamie Gray made a nice catch for the second out and Rigg ended the threat with a strikeout.
The Mustangs ran themselves out of the game in the seventh inning. Jenna Rodolico led off with a single to right-centerfield, but got greedy. She tried to reach second base and was throw out the Rainbow. Becca Ryan singled to left-centerfield and again challenged Rainbow’s arm, but the Trojan senior threw her out at second as well.
Cardarelli hit the third consecutive single off Rigg, but the next batter flied out to end the game.