It was the moment Holly Pagan had sought the entire game.
The Bartlett right-hander had yet to fan a Geneva batter before the host Vikings loaded the bases with none out in the teams' Upstate Eight Conference crossover softball game Tuesday afternoon.
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Even with a 5-run lead, the Hawks were not assured victory as Geneva has already demonstrated a resilience to the bitter end in its first week of play.
But Pagan ended the suspense with back-to-back strikeouts; an innocent grounder to second soon followed, and Bartlett plated another pair of runs in its seventh inning to ease to a 10-4 victory over the Vikings in Geneva.
"I had to stay really focused," said Pagan, who launched the Hawks' 4-run second inning offensively with a leadoff double. "I knew if they got a hit they would have a chance to come back and get the lead, even win the game. I had to throw my best pitches."
Bartlett (3-1, 1-0) parlayed a fatal mix of opportunism, scoring in a myriad of ways to build an early 5-0 lead after three innings.
Rachel Odolski was the Hawks' offensive catalyst the entire game.
The senior right-fielder had four consecutive singles after leading off the game with a first-to-second-base putout.
"I get ahead of every pitch," said Odolski, who had the Hawks' lone RBI in the second inning with a two-out single to score Lauren Janczak. "I look at the outfield. If I see (an open) spot, I hit it there."
Geneva (2-2, 0-1) was its own worst enemy in the opening stages of the game.
Bartlett scored its three other second-inning runs on a fielding error, passed ball and booted ground ball with two outs.
"I took a quick look after the game," Geneva coach Greg Dierks said. "I counted 17 freebases we gave them. It's hard to keep (your opponents) in single digits (with so many mistakes)."
Bartlett continued its unorthodox methods of scoring, but Geneva found a ray of hope in its fourth inning when Bridget Weitzel led off the inning with her second career home run, an opposite-field blast over the left-center fence.
"I can hit for power," said Weitzel. "Most pitchers throw outside, so you have to adapt."
Kristen Searcy followed with another extra-base shot -- a double -- but Pagan, in foreshadowing her extinguishing a threat with the bases-loaded in the sixth, induced three straight ground balls to end the threat.
Bartlett took an 8-1 lead courtesy of two more Geneva mistakes after five, but the Vikings were poised for another rally scoring twice in their half of the fifth.
"That was a chance to get back into the game," Dierks said of the Vikings' fruitless sixth inning. "(Pagan) threw some nice pitches in that sequence. We were one hit away from making it interesting."