HOMER — Aliza McCormick went 5-for-5 with a triple, three runs and three RBIs, and Brenna Hogan escaped a jam in the bottom of the sixth with the tying run in scoring position to give the Cortland Purple Tigers their third win in their last four games, as they topped the Homer Trojans, 10-9, Monday at Homer Junior High.
Trailing 7-5 going into the top of the fifth, the Purple Tigers put together their biggest inning of the game by sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring five runs on four hits and five Homer errors, all with two outs. McCormick had a two-run single that gave the Purple Tigers an 8-7 lead, then came around to score on a triple by Mikayla Cotterill (2-for-4, two runs). Cotterill herself would score the eventual game-winning run on an error.
“Aliza was coming off a rough game,” Purple Tigers coach Chelsea Palma said. “She struggled a little against Syracuse City, but we told her it’s all about having confidence. Today she was really seeing the ball well.”
After a quiet bottom of the fifth, the Trojans offense tried to mount a comeback in the bottom of the sixth, as leadoff hitter Sara Cargen reached on an error, stole second, advanced to third on
an error and scored on a wild pitch. She reached base and came around to score on all four of her plate appearances. Cece Rappleyea, who hit a two-run home run back in the first, singled, stole second and third and scored on a single by Abby Villnave, who stole second herself shortly afterward to put the tying run in scoring position.
But Hogan (seven innings, seven strikeouts) got the last five batters in order with relative ease, and the Purple Tigers, who started the season 0-5 with three losses by at least 15 runs, cemented
the victory to improve to 3-6.
“Brenna’s young,” Palma said. “It’s about confidence for her. She knew she had the bottom of the lineup in the seventh inning, and we wanted her to throw strikes. That was the message, and that’s what she did. She shut it down those last five batters.”
When asked what was the key to the Purple Tigers’ turnaround the last four games, Palma said it was all about getting experience.
“We finally settled in with the young players who have never played together before,” she said. “We didn’t have a lot of time to get ready at the beginning of the season, and I think that it was just
experience… we keep getting better and better.”
The game was a back-and-forth affair, and runs came early and often. Both teams scored two runs on two hits in the first inning. Cortland responded with two runs in the top of the second on an RBI triple by McCormick and an RBI double by Cotterill. Homer tied the game again in the third with an RBI triple by Cat Apker, who then scored on a groundout by Rappleyea.
Cortland took the lead at 5-4 in the top of the fourth as Claire Turner scored on an error, but their sixth run had to wait as McCormick thought she had scored on a wild pitch, but the home plate umpire ruled she missed the plate.
That opened the door for Apker to launch a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth to give the Trojans a 7-5 lead.
Both teams are back in action today at 5 p.m., with Cortland hosting Fulton and Homer (4-9) hosting Skaneateles.
Cortland 11, Syracuse City 1
The Purple Tigers stayed unbeaten with seven runs in the bottom of the fourth to put the game out of reach.
Tyler Blake struck out 10 batters and allowed just one hit in four innings to get the win.
He also went 1-for-3 with a double and three RBI at the plate.
Caden Congdon went 2-for-4 with four RBI and pitched the final three innings to lock up the win.
Cortland and Syracuse face off again at 5:30 p.m. today in Syracuse.
Lansing 221, Marathon 236
Abby Ensign had the top score for Marathon with 54, but Lansing’s Hailey Baughan medaled with a 48 to lead the Bobcats to victory.
TRACK AND FIELD
Groton girls win IAC Small Title
The Indians girls won the IAC Small Division Meet Monday at Appleby Elementary in Marathon, 18 points clear of second-place Southern Cayuga. The Marathon girls finished fourth.
On the boys’ side, Marathon finished second to Moravia, with Groton finishing fourth.
Groton’s winners were Tenley Webb (100 meter hurdles, 21.42 and 400 meter hurdles, 1:19.13), Emma Kennett (100 meters, 13.92 and long jump, 13’ 6”), Jackson Slade (1,600 meters, 5:07.42), Abby Dykeman (800 meters, 3:06.85), the boys’ 4×800 meter relay team (Jackson Slade, Mason Slade, Carter Naginey and Noah McCormick, 10:03.97) and the girls’ 4×100 meter relay team (Kennett, Emma Dematteo, Jaylyn Comstock and Diana Nino, 58.78).
Marathon’s winners were Gabriel Teeter (400 meters, 57.08 and triple jump, 30’ 7”), Connor Holland (800 meters, 2:17.90 and high jump, 5’ 6”) and Jacob Pixley (200 meters, 27.60 and pole vault, 7’).