Commit errors against the Center Moriches High School softball team at your own risk.
Center Moriches is too good a team to give extra outs to. The Red Devils will punish teams that don’t play a clean game, as Bishop McGann-Mercy was reminded on Wednesday.
Mercy dropped its opening game in the Suffolk County Class B Tournament, 12-2, in Center Moriches. Seven of those Center Moriches runs were unearned thanks to four errors by Mercy.
The loss drops fourth-seeded Mercy (12-9) into the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament. On Thursday the Monarchs will play at either No. 2 Babylon or No. 3 Southampton.
No. 1 Center Moriches (20-1), which has beaten Mercy four times in as many games this year, will play host to Babylon or Southampton on Friday.
Center Moriches showed why it has the impressive record that it has. The Red Devils can do a lot of damage with bats in their hands. In the third inning, they picked up half of their 10 hits for the game with a seven-run salvo that made it 9-1. Kayla Hujber’s bloop single dropped between the second baseman and the right fielder, plating a run to start the rally. Later, with the bases loaded, Erin Copozzi cleared them by lifting a double to deep center field. Madison Hujber chopped a two-run single through the middle, and Gina Reese lined a run-scoring single for the final run of the frame.
Like Copozzi, Madison Hujber had three runs batted in for the game.
Kylie Castellano, a left-hander, went the distance for Center Moriches. She did not give up an earned run, conceding six hits and no walks with five strikeouts.
Mercy scored first in the second when Kate Wilkie reached base on a throwing error before coming home on an outfield error after Izzy Sorgi slapped a single.
That 1-0 lead didn’t last long, though. By the time Mercy scored again in the sixth, the game appeared safe in hand for Center Moriches. Olivia Valle scored that second run for the Monarchs after successive singles by Valle (her second of the game) and Margaret Terry and a fielding miscue in the outfield.
Photo caption: Bishop McGann-Mercy’s Jordyn Stromski connects on a pitch from Center Moriches’ Kylie Castellano. (Credit: Garret Meade)