CICERO — It was the worst possible time of the season for a case of nerves to show up for the Franklin Academy varsity softball team.
The FA girls took on the Section 3 champion Oneida Indians in a New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A regional softball game on Thursday at Cicero Middle School and came away on the short end of a 13-5 score, thus ending the Huskies’ season.
FA junior pitching standout Alissa McCauley had issues with the strike zone early on as she walked the first four batters of the game and had five total in the opening frame. The free passes allowed the Indians to take a 2-0 lead after the first inning, then increased their advantage to 3-0 with a solo run in the second — all without the benefit of a base hit, as the sixth walk of the game also came around to score for Oneida.
The Indians recorded their first hit of the contest in the third inning, as Oneida’s Ashley Marshall led off the frame with a single down the right-field line. Oneida proceeded to scored four times in the third to increase its lead to 7-0 and chase McCauley from the circle in favor of Alexa Prue. Prue, who is also a junior, lasted through the fifth inning, when the Malone coaches lifted Prue in favor of senior Annie Sharlow for her final time in the circle for the Huskies.
The Indians didn’t seemed fazed by the pitching change and tacked on three runs in both the fourth and fifth frames to build their lead to 13-1 and basically salt away the playoff victory. The win advances the Oneida team to Saturday’s Regional Final in Malta against the Section 2 champion.
“The slow start killed us,” said Malone coach Greg Marshall. “The girls did play hard and made a good attempt at a comeback, but it was just too little, too late and that ended our season.
“It was a real good year and the girls have nothing to hang their heads about. Compiling an 18-3 record against some of the competition we faced is a really good accomplishment. I am proud of them and proud about the fact that the girls didn’t give up, despite the one-sided score,” added the Malone coach.
The Huskies broke the shutout bid of winning pitcher Kylie Chesebro, a freshman, with a run in the fifth, then scored two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings against reliever Ally Simons. The Oneida duo combined to allow 12 Malone hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
McCauley stroked a one-out single to left, but was gunned down at the plate trying to score on Morgan Fountain’s double to left, with Fountain moving over to third on the throw to the plate. Fountain came around to score the first FA run of the game on Sharlow’s RBI single. Emily Marshall followed Fountain’s lead with a single of her own and looked as if she also scored, as she seemingly avoided a tag by Oneida catcher Morgan Sgarlata, but was called out by the home plate umpire.
FA scored twice in the sixth, as Erin McDonald collected her second hit of the game, and took third on Katie Lamica’s double to right-center field. McDonald scored on a wild pitch and Lamica came in with FA’s third run of the game on an RBI single by Brooke Collins.
The FA girls concluded their season with two runs in the seventh. Fountain led off with an infield single and moved to third as Emily Marshall, who had singled, got into a rundown between first and second, which allowed Fountain to cross the dish. Janelle Heden followed with a base hit, took second on a ground out, then went to third on a wild pitch. Heden capped the Huskies’ scoring on Whitney Legacy’s RBI triple. Legacy was left stranded on third as the FA season came to a close.At the plate. Fountain, Heden, McDonald and Emily Marshall had two hits apiece during the state contest. Fountain singled and doubled, while McDonald singled and tripled. Marshall and Heden had two singles each. Legacy legged out her triple as Lamica doubled for her final hit in an FA uniform. Solo hits came off the FA bats of Sharlow and Prue.
For Oneida (19-3), Ashley Marshall singled twice and tripled as Sgarlata had two hits. Jenna Didio and Hannah Begay each had a triple, while Sam Lusher and Summer Lancette accounted for the other two Oneida hits, a single each.
The Franklin Academy girls conclude their 2014 spring slate with an 18-3 record, a Northern Athletic Conference Central Division championship as well as the Section 10 Class A title. Oneida advances to Saturday’s Regional Final against the Section 2 champions at Malta Rec Park. Game time on Saturday is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Oneida 13, Franklin Academy 5FA 000 012 2 - 5 12 3
On 214 330 x 13 9 0
McCauley, Prue (3), Sharlow (6) and Fountain. Chesebro, Simons (6) and Sgarlata. WP- Kylie Chesebro. LP- Alissa McCauley. 2B- Morgan Fountain (FA), Katie Lamica (FA). 3B- Whitney Legacy (FA), Erin McDonald (FA), Jenna Diodio (O), Hannah Begay (O), Ashley Marshall (O).
Records: Franklin Academy (18-3), Oneida (19-3).