Softball: Playoff-bound Monarchs fall to league leader

McGann-Mercy catcher Ali Hulse had both of Mercy's hits Friday against Center Moriches. (Credit: Bill Landon)
McGann-Mercy catcher Ali Hulse had both of Mercy’s hits Friday against Center Moriches. (Credit: Bill Landon)

RED DEVILS 14, MONARCHS 1 (5 Innings)

When the McGann-Mercy softball team gathered early in the season inside the gym, the field outside still unplayable in early March, coach Frank Baker spoke of the team’s goals for the upcoming season.

“I looked up at the batters and said, ‘Girls, our job is to at least get into the playoffs,’ ” Baker said. 

Two months later, the Monarchs will indeed be a part of the Class B playoffs, which are slated to begin May 20. To get there, the Monarchs needed a miraculous come-from-behind victory over Mattituck Monday. Trailing by five runs going into the bottom of the seventh, the Monarchs exploded for a six-run inning to win a walk-off, 10-9.

The win gave the Monarchs their ninth League V win, clinching at least a .500 record.

Provided the Monarchs’ final two opponents, the win over Mattituck was essential.

On Friday, the league-leading Center Moriches Red Devils — a team with not one, but two stud pitchers — came to Riverhead on Mercy’s Senior Day. Predictably, the Red Devils took care of business with an efficient 14-1 win that ended after five innings from the mercy rule.

The Red Devils improved to 17-2 overall and 16-1 in league.

Still, there were plenty of smiles to go around for the Monarchs. The team’s four seniors — Jackie Zaweski, Natalie Massiah, Katie Nolan and Brittany Folkes — were honored before the game and presented flowers.

The Monarchs scored their lone run in the fourth inning when Folkes hit a fielder’s choice to shortstop, brining home Claire Sullivan from third. Sullivan and Micaela Zebroski led off the inning with walks.

“We played better against them than we did last time,” Baker said.

Center Moriches pitcher Erin Creen earned the win. She gave up two hits, both to leadoff hitter Ali Hulse. Creen struck out six.

Mercy junior Victoria Pace started in the circle for the Monarchs and took the loss.

Alexa Andersen and Tori Fahie both had 3 RBIs apiece for Center Moriches. Erin Copozzi was 3-for-4.

Mercy (9-8) gets right back at it Saturday with a road game at Babylon (13-3) to close out the regular season.

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