Solvay A league title was long tucked away, and the Section III Class B playoffs still loomed, but what drove the Solvay softball team was the desire to finish with a perfect regular-season mark – and it would reach that goal with some of its most impressive wins of the season.
The Bearcats appeared to face major hurdles, starting with the fact that top hitter Julie Gardner suffered a knee injury and was forced to miss the last two games of the regular season.
Without her, the Bearcats kicked off what looked like a tough weekend slate with a 5-1 victory over Class AA Central Square, with Chelsie Delperuto all but carrying her team at the plate.
Delperuto hit her seventh home run of the season, added a single and amassed four RBIs as Solvay grabbed a 5-0 lead by the fourth inning. Nicole Antonacci tripled and scored twice as Taylor Guinta also scored a pair of runs.
That was enough for Jackie Gardner, who blanked the Red Hawks until the sixth inning and held them to two hits and one walk, finishing with nine strikeouts.
Julie Gardner was still out when Solvay met up with Class A favorite Oneida on Saturday afternoon. Again, though, that didn’t stop the Bearcats one bit as it went back to its double-digit run habits and beat the Indians 10-3.
Oneida got to Jackie Gardner for a pair of first-inning runs, but any notions of an Indian victory started to dissipate when Solvay answered with a run in the bottom of the first and used four runs in the second to move in front for good.
A five-run fifth inning put it away as, once more, Delperuto tore things up, getting a triple, double, single and walk, scoring twice and finishing with four RBIs. Molly McGuire tripled, got two other hits and drove in a run as Antonacci, Sydney Cimini, Brenna Poli and Jackie Gardner each drove in one run. Gardner pitched another complete game, holding Oneida to four hits.