C-NS softball edges out Colonie in Class AA state regional
6/10/2019 5:59 AM
The Cicero-North Syracuse softball overcame an early three-run deficit Friday at Carrier Park to defeat Colonie (Section II) in the Class AA regional round, 6-4. The Northstars will take on the winner of Orchard Park (Section VI) and Victor (Section V) - who play on Saturday - in the state semifinals at 11:30 a.m. on June 15 at Moreau Recreational Park.   The visiting Raiders applied plenty of offensive pressure early on, loading the bases in the top of the first. C-NS starting pitcher Ariana Corasaniti was able to escape the jam untouched though and when Alayna Harbaugh tripled and Brandi Feeney brought her in with an RBI sacrifice bunt, the Northstars went up 1-0.  Colonie continued to rip the ball in the second though and plated four runs. Despite collecting seven hits in their first two rounds of at-bats, Corasaniti would settle in, shutting out the Raiders the rest of the way on just one hit.  “After the first couple of innings, I think we just started to settle down. We got more confident,” the victorious hurler said. “We actually got up in the dugout, started cheering, and I think just confidence makes a big difference in the game, and hitting. We started to hit too.”  “(Corasaniti) just had to settle in and do what she does best and pitch to our catcher. We all have a little bit of jitters at the beginning, but once she settled down, we played great (defense) in the first inning, and she came through for us and the defense came through,” coach Mary Beebe added. “We’re one team, we’re a big family here and we all pulled through together.”  In the bottom of the second, C-NS loaded the bases with nobody away, before No. 9 hitter Jenna Imbesi knocked a single past the drawn-in infield, up the middle to drive in a score and make it 4-2.   Two batters later, Harbaugh knotted things at four with a two-RBI single.  There would be no scoring in the third and fourth stanzas, and Corasaniti set down the side in order in both the third and fifth to set up the Northstars game-winning rally in the bottom half. Harbaugh began the bottom of the fifth by reaching base for the third time in as many tries (this time via a walk), and moved to third when Feeney dumped a double into shallow left field.  With the meat of the order up and two runners in scoring position, Beebe elected to call for back-to-back sacrifice bunts, and the decisions paid off. Brooke Nicolaos drove in Harbaugh with her bunt and Ally Cifaratta brought home Feeney with the sixth and final run.  “The corners were back, and we can hit and we can also bunt. You have to go back to fundamentals,” Beebe said. “Anyway to get that run across the plate, either a long fly ball or a suicide squeeze, still gets the run in. So we just play the field.”  Corasaniti would put up her third and final 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth, and despite a one-out single in the seventh, she ended the game by inducing a pop-out and recording her seventh strikeout.  “We have five seniors in the infield and I think we were all just pulling for it," the pitcher said. "We did not want this to be our last game, so we all just stuck together, made plays, and hit the ball.”  

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