Lightning kills Clippers’ chance for shocker

Southold/Greenport shortstop Heather Gadomski prepared to fire a throw to first base.

Sometimes the final score does not fully indicate the progress a young team is really making.

In a week in which the Southold/Greenport Clippers softball team was no-hit in back-to-back lopsided losses to the Babylon Panthers and Mount Sinai Mustangs, Coach Cindy Sepenoski’s team bounced back last Thursday to grab a 4-0 lead after three innings against the Hampton Bays Baymen at Jean W. Cochran Park in Peconic. The Baymen rallied to take a 6-4 lead in the top of the fifth inning. But the Clippers trimmed their deficit to 6-5 going into the seventh. Hampton Bays added an insurance run, but before Southold/Greenport could come to bat in the bottom of the seventh, lightning lit up the sky.

The game was called. Hampton Bays was a 7-5 winner in the Suffolk County League VII/League VIII crossover game.

“This was a tough one to lose,” Sepenoski said. “Once the lightning came, I knew it was going to kill our chances to come back.”

Sepenoski, from the beginning, had a good feeling about this game.

The Clippers’ starting pitcher, Danielle Alpi, retired the Baymen (5-5, 5-4 in League VII) in order in the top of the first. Southold/Greenport (0-12, 0-11 in League VIII) then struck for three runs in its half of the inning as Nicole Busso singled, Alexis Reed reached on an error, Emily King followed with a bunt single, Reed scored on a passed ball, and Donna Angevine lined a two-run single.

“We never start off like this,” Sepenoski said. “I was thinking, ‘This is our game.’â”

The Clippers added another run in the second, when Lauren Salmiery singled and eventually scored on Heather Gadomski’s single.

Alpi continued to mow Hampton Bays down through three innings. But in the fourth, the Baymen tallied two runs, then rallied for four runs in the fifth to take the lead. Jesse Egner and Nicole Yeager each had a pair of hits to spark Hampton Bays. Egner had a double and triple.

Carlie Troyam got the win for the Baymen. Alpi pitched well in the loss for Southold/Greenport as she scattered eight hits and struck out five.

“Danielle has been working on her curveball,” Sepenoski said. “She is beginning to really locate the ball. We are excited with her progress.”

Earlier in the week, the Clippers were no-hit in a pair of five-inning, mercy-rule-shortened games. On April 20, Babylon freshman Madison Mugno tossed a no-hitter in her team’s 15-0 road win over Southold/Greenport in a crossover game.

The next day, Mount Sinai’s Holly Drasser, an eighth-grader, no-hit the Clippers in a 17-0 crossover win at Mount Sinai. Drasser struck out four and did not walk a batter. The Mustangs committed an error in the fourth inning to break up the perfect game. Nicole Chinnici had a double and four runs batted in for Mount Sinai.

But last Thursday’s home game against the Baymen, said Sepenoski, “was a whole another game.”

“We were getting unbelievable pitching and making the plays in the field and that never happens,” she said. “Despite what the record shows, we really are coming along.”

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