PANTHERS 13, CLIPPERS 0 (5 INNINGS)
The Babylon High School softball team is a powerhouse, to be sure. Winners of four successive Suffolk County championships and three straight Long Island titles, the Panthers have built a winning tradition. As formidable an opponent as Babylon is, though, Southold/Greenport faced something even tougher in its league and home opener on Monday: the weather.
Frigid weather conditions posed a challenge for players, coaches, umpires and spectators alike at Southold High School. The temperature plunged into the low 30s and the wind-chill factor made it feel like it was in the 20s.
The biggest chill, though, may have been the one Babylon pitcher Alyssa Sasuk put on Southold/Greenport’s bats. Sasuk hurled a two-hit shutout as Babylon coasted, 13-0, in a five-inning League V game cut short because of the mercy rule. The junior right-hander walked four and struck out four as Babylon opened its season in convincing fashion.
Sasuk did not allow a hit until Jessica Rizzo led off the bottom of the fourth inning by sending the ball into center field. Stephanie Clark accounted for the other hit, lining a single over third baseman Molly Cummings to lead off the bottom of the fifth.
It wasn’t as if Babylon was spraying hits all over the field, either. The Panthers totaled five hits off pitcher Sarah Tuthill, but five errors by the Clippers (0-2, 0-1) led to six unearned runs.
Seven stolen bases, seven walks and a hit batsman with the bases loaded also helped Babylon’s cause.
Babylon plated its first four runs in the first without the aid of a hit.
The Panthers still had only one hit before their impressive catcher, Michelle Mangini, clocked a two-run homer over the head of left fielder Willow Sutton, making the score 9-0 in the fourth.
Mangini had three runs batted in as did Marisol Rivas. Erin Going brought in a couple of runs from a groundout and a double. Gwen Donaldson and Mangini scored three runs each.