ONEONTA — If baby steps are what’s required for Oneonta High to climb the softball mountain that is Windsor, then the Yellowjackets took another mini-stride Thursday.
In an error-free game on a cool and windy day, the Black Knights earned their eighth straight win against Oneonta, 1-0, in matchup of Southern Tier Athletic Conference East Division powers.
Windsor (3-0, 3-0) last loss to OHS (2-1, 2-1) on April 29, 2009 — a 2-1 setback. Since then, the Black Knights won a Class B state title in 2011 and advanced to the Class B state semifinals last season.
The Yellowjackets again struggled against Windsor senior Morgan Starley, who was also in the circle when the Black Knights beat OHS by scores of 8-1, 3-0 and 4-0 last season.
Starley threw a three-hitter Thursday. Though she struck out five, Starley kept the Yellowjackets off-balance all afternoon.
“She hit her spots out there just like we knew she would,” OHS coach Randy Brockway said of Starley. “We knew it was a matter of putting the ball in play and unfortunately, we didn’t get the key hits when we needed them.”
OHS sophomore Brieanna Baker was nearly as good Starley. Baker, in her first season as Oneonta’s starting pitcher, struck out seven in a six-hitter.
Aside from one pitch to No. 9 hitter Alexa Cary in the fifth inning, Baker’s powerful right arm kept the Black Knights in check.
With two outs in the fifth, Cary hit an outside fastball the opposite way, driving it to right. Yellowjackets right fielder Emmalee Sloman got a good jump, but her diving attempt fell about a foot short as the ball rolled to the fence. Cary eased into third with a triple.
“She really had a good at-bat and took the ball where it was pitched,” Windsor coach Bill Waldron said of Cary. “Their kid made a pretty valiant effort to make that catch, so that was a break for us. We capitalized on our one opportunity.”