Shaking off a series of weather-related postponements, the Cayuga Women's Softball team split a pair of doubleheaders over the weekend, picking up their first two wins of the 2019 season.
The Spartans won one-run contests against Niagara County Community College and Jefferson Community College, and also dropped close games to each team to improve Cayuga's overall record to 2-4. The doubleheaders were the Spartans' first games since mid-March, and followed 10 consecutive cancelled or postponed games.
Despite not having played for several weeks, the team played well in both doubleheaders, said Coach Chris Amoia.
"We played against teams that have already played 8 or 10 games this season, so we're playing catch-up. But after just six games, we've already progressed a lot, and the coaches are pleased with how they're playing," he said.
Cayuga picked up its first win of the season in the first half of the doubleheader against Niagara County. The Spartans overcame an early 4-0 deficit to take a 6-4 lead, only to see Niagara tie the game in the bottom of the 7th inning. Cayuga pushed the winning run across in the 8th inning and held off Niagara for the win.
Libby Plish and Shelby Koch led the Spartans at the plate in the win against Niagara. Both players knocked in two runs, with Plish picking up three hits in four at-bats and Koch going three-for-five with a double. Starting pitcher Deanna Shackleton threw all eight innings, surrendering only two earned runs.
The two teams switched roles in the second game, with Cayuga staking itself to early leads of 5-1 and 7-4, only to see Niagara come back for an 11-7 win. This time it was rightfielder Keirstan Bozeat leading Cayuga's offense, going two-for-four with three runs batted in.
Just a day later Cayuga defeated Jefferson in another extra-inning thriller. The Spartans pushed a run across in the bottom of the 6th inning to knot the score at one apiece, and then scored a walk-off run in the bottom of the 8th inning for the win.
Shackleton again led the Spartans from the mound, throwing all eight innings and striking out nine. Hanna Keysor went three-for-four at the plate for Cayuga, with one run batted in.
Cayuga dropped a heartbreaker in the second half of the doubleheader against Jefferson. Leading 7-5 going into the 7th inning, Jefferson pushed four runs across the plate to ultimately clinch a 9-8 win. Kaylee Shackleton led the Spartans' offense, going three-for-five from the leadoff spot, smashing one home run and scoring twice in the second contest against Jefferson.
Amoia said Jefferson, an MSAC league opponent, is a strong team with an impressive offense.
"They're a very good hitting team. All their batters made strong contact. We really didn't do anything wrong in that second game, they just had some timely hits in that last inning," he said.
Amoia said he and fellow coach David Plish were pleased with the team's progress after only six games.
"We have some things to build on. We had some mental errors that cost us some runs, and we left some runners on base, but overall we played well defensively and had some timely hits when we needed them," said Amoia. "We'll work on the mistakes and move on. There's no need to dwell on the games of the past weekend, just look ahead to the next one."
Cayuga takes the field against Finger Lakes Community College for a road doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 13.