MUSTANGS 12, CLIPPERS 0 (5 INNINGS)
Year in, year out, Mount Sinai produces good softball teams. That sort of consistency has earned the Mustangs respect and a nice reputation.
So, it meant something for Southold/Greenport to be hanging in there for three and a half innings on Friday, trailing Mount Sinai by a respectable score of 4-0.
Still, one had to wonder how long it would last. When would Mount Sinai erupt for a big inning to put the game away?
Well, that came in the fourth inning.
The Mustangs cranked out six hits for five runs that inning, pulling away to a 12-0 win at Mount Sinai High School. The game was stopped because of the 12-run mercy rule with one in the bottom of the fifth inning after Julia Gallo walloped a run-scoring double to bring home the final run.
“It was a good one for us,” Mount Sinai right fielder Michelle Piergiorgi said. “I wish we won like this every day.”
A last-minute lineup change — and a significant one at that — didn’t seem to bother Mount Sinai one bit. Holly Drasser, the team’s No. 1 pitcher, was pulled out of the starting lineup because her back was bothering her. That presented Cassandra Wilson, a freshman, with her first varsity start, and she didn’t disappoint.
Wilson tossed a two-hit shutout. The right-hander had eight strikeouts and four walks. After giving up an infield single to the game’s first batter, Jessica Rizzo, the only other hit Wilson surrendered was a two-out single that Erin Creedon chopped up the middle in the fourth inning.
The Clippers stranded four runners in scoring position.
Piergiorgi, the No. 10 batter in Mount Sinai’s order, went 2 for 2 with a three-run double that gave the Mustangs (7-2, 5-1 Suffolk County League VII) a 4-0 lead in the second. Eight Mustangs had at least one hit as part of Mount Sinai’s 13-hit attack. The Nos. 3 through 6 hitters in the order — Lindsay Dembinski, Angelina Corrente, Gallo and Antonina Fiore — went a combined 7 for 15. Dembinski, Corrente and Gallo knocked in two runs apiece.
“Everybody on this team is a hitter, that’s for sure,” Mount Sinai coach Allison Maire said. “We work on hitting every day. Then you hope they can deliver in a game.”
Mount Sinai eked out a run in the first inning. Wilson led off with a bunt single and later scored on a groundout by Dembinski.
The Mustangs added to the lead the following inning with one swing of the bat. Gallo led off, reaching base on a dropped third strike. Antonina Fiore blooped a single over the shortstop, Rizzo, and then Danielle Spears drew a one-out walk to load the bases for Piergiorgi. The junior then knocked the ball to left field, bring them all home.
“We have a lot of power on this team,” Piergiorgi said. “We have Jordan [Fiore], me, Lindsay. We’re all power hitters.”
Perhaps the final score was a bit harsh for Southold/Greenport’s junior pitcher, Courtney O’Sullivan, who had three strikeouts and one walk. O’Sullivan wasn’t well served by the five errors the Clippers (1-6, 1-5 League VIII) made.
Errors have been something that have bothered Mount Sinai this season. The Mustangs made two of them on Friday, but neither of them hurt much.
“You got to remember they’re teenage girls,” Maire said. “They’re going to make mistakes, and they’re very hard on themselves. They’re much harder on themselves than I am, for sure. You have to just make sure they stay confident and try to let them get over it.”
Southold/Greenport coach Lori Marra found encouragement in the first three and a half innings.
“When we do have a few innings where we can hold it at 4-nothing for that long, I think that does say a lot for them,” she said of her players. “They kept their heads up, and it wasn’t an automatic defeat.”
Creedon maintained a positive outlook as well. “I have to say, I think we’re making a lot of progress this season, and I think every practice, every game we’re doing better,” she said. “We’re really just learning. It’s kind of a good learning season.”
Asked how things are going, Marra replied: “Record-wise, not well, but playing-wise, I think their attitudes are still so positive. Every day we’re talking about things and where we want to go.”