Oriskany – Tuesday’s Center State Conference softball battle saw similar efforts from the top of the order for Oriskany and Remsen. The strength of the bottom of the order for the hosts made the difference as Oriskany posted a 14-5 victory. First-year head coach Mike Reilly’s team stayed in the hunt for a CSC title as a result.
“We’re playing really good defense now,” Reilly said after his team’s 13-hit attack moved the team to 6-2 in the CSC, 7-2 overall. “That was not the case at the beginning of the season.”
Earlier this spring, Oriskany dropped close games to league leading Poland and second place West Canada Valley. All three teams are state ranked in the latest poll and face each other during these final two weeks of the 2016 CSC campaign. Toss defending champ Hamilton into the mix and there’s still plenty of time for Oriskany to catch the leaders if it keeps playing like it did in the May 3 battle against the Rams (0-4, 1-5).
“(Erin) Carlo’s pitching well, we’re hitting the ball well, and our second baseman (Courtney Donahue) stepped up today,” Reilly said.
Donahue filled in for the injured starter the past two games and was 2-for-4 in both. She added two runs in Tuesday’s victory and capped the bottom of the order’s 5-for-12, 3-RBI, 4-run effort against Remsen.
Abby Edsall also had two hits and added three RBIs for the hosts from the No. 7 slot to help the cause while cleanup hitter Anna Buehler was 3-for-4 with three runs and RBIs to lead Oriskany’s balanced attack.
The hosts needed it – and good defense – as Remsen’s top of the order was 5-for-11 with five runs scored and an RBI. Rachel Carrack led the way with three hits and All-State senior shortstop Hailey Murray added a double, two runs and reached base three times. Cleanup hitter Alicia Paige had a hit and two RBIs for Remsen’s other highlight on offense.
Remsen wasn’t able to do much else, though, as Carlo was steady in the circle. The senior scattered six hits and struck out three while walking just two to earn the win. Her counterpart, Emily Austin, fanned one and walked seven. She was hurt by some wild pitches and passed balls as well as four errors behind her.
“We had way too many errors, especially early,” Remsen coach John Glass said. “I think we can play better. I expect more wins.”
Oriskany took a 6-0 lead after two innings before the visitors cut the deficit to 6-2 in the top of the third inning on Tuesday. Carrack singled and Austin reached on an error. Paige and Alexia Tartaglia drove them in to make the game closer, but Oriskany answered with an eight-run effort in the bottom of the inning to seal the outcome. Donahue singled, Abby Davis was hit by a pitch and Carlo singled to start the rally and Buehler, Arianna VanSlyke and Edsall had key RBIs moments later to up the lead to 14-2.
Remsen 002 020 2 5-6-5
Oriskany 248 000 x 14-13-3
2B: Hailey Murray (R), Abby Edsall (O), Brynn Janes (O).
Records: Remsen 0-4, 1-5; Oriskany 6-2, 7-2.