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Local Sports

April 18, 2013

Yellowjackets pitcher Baker strikes again

Staff Report

Two starts into the season and Oneonta High sophomore Brieanna Baker has yet to allow a run while compiling 31 strikeouts.

Baker struck out 15 and walked one in a two-hitter Wednesday in leading the Yellowjackets to a 7-0 Southern Tier Athletic Conference softball victory at Seton Catholic Central.

In Oneonta’s 7-0 season-opening win over Johnson City on April 8, Baker had 16 strikeouts in a one-hitter.

“In my mind, it came down to preseason preparation,” OHS coach Randy Brockway said of Baker’s start to the season. “She went into the season with confidence. Control is not an issue and she’s keeping good hitters off balance. I think Erin Mushtare is complementing her well behind the plate.”

Added Brockway: “Her velocity is up there in numbers. Most batters aren’t catching up to (her fastball), yet.”

Samantha Stento broke up Baker’s no-hit bid with a two-out single to right-center in the fourth inning.

The Yellowjackets (2-0, 2-0) opened the scoring in the first inning, when Cami Cleaveland reached on an error, stole second, went to third on a sacrifice by Hayley Dower and scored on Mushtare’s infield single to first.

Oneonta expanded its lead to 3-0 by scoring twice in the sixth inning. Dower led off with a double and scored on Mushtare’s triple to right-center. Mushtare scored on Emmalee Sloman’s squeeze bunt.

Mushtare finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Cleaveland went 2-for-4 with two runs.

“I think we came into the season with confidence,” said Brockway, whose team went 14-7 last season. “We’re carrying nine seniors. We’re meeting our expectations, but we have a long ways to go. We’re certainly happy with the results, but I’m still thinking our best games are yet to come.”

The Yellowjackets figure to get a good gauge today when they host a Windsor squad that advanced to the Class B state semifinals a season ago. OHS and Windsor shared the STAC East Division crown a season ago, with the Black Knights advancing to the STAC playoffs with a 3-0 win in a tiebreaker.

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