BEDFORD, N.Y. — The Fox Lane varsity softball team opened the week undefeated but faced two stern tests in Harrison and Horace Greeley.
Coach Anthony Rodrigues would have been happy with a split. But Fox Lane swept, edging Harrison, 3-2, and using a five-run inning to defeat rival Horace Greeley, 7-3. The Foxes are now 6-0 and will have a few days off before opening a three-game week with Valhalla on Monday.
In the Harrison game, Fox Lane trailed, 1-0, going into the sixth. But winning pitcher Allison Lombardi added a run-scoring single in the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, Harrison had runners at first and third with no outs and its two big hitters — Jenna Webb and Alijah Webb — coming to bat. Rodrigues called time and went to the circle to speak to his team.
"By the time I got there, Allison and Chrissy (Lombardi) had calmed everyone down," Rodrigues said. "There was no panic."
Lombardi retired Webb on a sacrifice fly as well as Alijah Webb and added the final out. It was the second consecutive year that Fox Lane beat Harrison.
"That was a game that was one hit from getting away from us," Rodrigues said. "Any time you go to Harrison and get a win, it's a huge win. They are an excellent team and Dean (Marino) is a great coach."
Rodrigues was not worried about Fox Lane getting fired up to play rival Horace Greeley. But he knew his team would be in for a tough game against Greeley pitcher Jamie Weisser.
"She is one of the best pitchers and players in the section," Rodrigues said. "She always gives us fits."
Weisser homered in the first inning, but Fox Lane evened the score at 1-1 in the second. That's where the score remained until a five-run Fox Lane uprising in the fifth. Brittany Ciullo initiated it with a two-run single, followed by an Olivia Azarek two-run double. Kim Gigante capped it with an RBI single.
"She was pitching well, and they were playing great defense," Rodrigues said. "We had great at-bats. I told the girls to stay with it, and we will get to her."
Rodrigues also credited his defense with playing an excellent game, especially second baseman Natalie Beyer, who received a game ball for making four great plays.