A season full of tough competition against Class A foes in the OHSL Freedom division helped the Christian Brothers Academy softball team once it moved down to the Class B ranks for the Section III playoffs.
Given the no. 6 seed, the Brothers made its first conquest in last Thursday’s opening round, going to no. 6 seed Homer and putting together an 8-3 victory over the Trojans.
It didn’t take long for CBA to strike, as it got to Homer pitcher Alyssa Morgan for three runs in the first and second innings to grab a 6-0 lead.
Jordan Sheridan contributed a home run, double and two RBIs, while Jessica Valerino had three hits and scored a trio of runs. Kelly Bewley added two hits and an RBI as Monica Hanson, Gabby Damico and Jen Merola also drove in runs.
Staked to that big early lead, Sheridan would have shaky moments, as Homer’s Katie Sinclair hit a solo home run an two others (Kristen Fuller and Chelsie Cornwell) each got two RBIs. But Sheridan still went the distance, negating the 10 hits allowed with 13 strikeouts.
This led to another long road trip – north, to Dexter, to face no. 3 seed General Brown in Saturday’s Class B quarterfinal after the Lions tripped up Cazenovia 3-1 in its opening-round game.
It proved a classic pitcher’s battle between Sheridan and the Lions’ Katie Pitkin, but when it was done, CBA had survived by a slim 1-0 margin.
In the first inning, Claire Gollegly reached base when Pitkin hit her. Sheridan pushed Gollegly to second on a sacrifice bunt, and when the throw went wild, Gollegly came all the way home.
And that was all for the Brothers against Pitkin, who threw a one-hitter and struck out seven. Forced to protect that slim one-run lead, Sheridan did so, spinning her own one-hit gem that included 16 strikeouts and just one walk allowed.
CBA would get another big test in Wednesday’s Class B semifinal at the Gillette Road Complex in Cicero when it meets no. 2 seed Solvay. The winner will play South Jefferson or Altmar-Parish-Williamstown in Saturday’s final at the Hopkins Road Park in Liverpool.