By Gavin Menu
The Pierson-Bridgehampton softball team will play a winner-take-all final game for the Suffolk County Class C Championship against the Port Jefferson Lady Royals today, May 30, on the diamond behind Pierson High School at 3 p.m.
The final of the three-game series was set up by a bizarre stretch of two games that were spread between Sag Harbor and Port Jefferson on Tuesday and Wednesday. The teams were tied 1-1 after six innings in Sag Harbor on Tuesday when Game 1 was postponed because of rain.
The seventh inning was played in Port Jefferson on Wednesday with Pierson still technically the home team. The Lady Royals scored a run in the top of the seventh inning to take the lead off Lady Whalers ace Sam Duchemin and held on for a drawn out 2-1 victory.
But it was the Lady Whalers who officially became the road team in Game 2, flipping the result for a 6-1 win that pushed the series back to Sag Harbor. Pierson head coach Melissa Edwards said her team’s confidence was riding high coming home for today’s deciding Game 3.
“We had a great second game, my girls came out on fire,” Edwards said on Wednesday. “Port Jeff, in reality, should have come back to us to play that one final inning, but I think that would have been ridiculous so we said we would go there.”
The Lady Whalers (11-7) put up three runs in the first inning, with Lottie Evans, Kasey Gilbride and Sam Duchemin all scoring runs. Duchemin hit a shot down the third baseline for a two-run triple that scored Evans and Gilbride.
Port Jefferson tacked on a run in the second inning, but then Duchemin settled down and held the Lady Royals scoreless for the remainder of the game while the Lady Whalers remained methodical in their attack at the plate.
“Each inning we chipped away and scored runs,” Edwards said. “It was nice to watch because we got contributions from throughout the lineup. And we played a stellar defensive game.”
The team has been without junior star Emma Romeo, who is not only one of the team’s best hitters, but also its catcher. Romeo is out with an illness and will not play in Game 3, according to Edwards. Julia Schiavoni started behind the plate in Romeo’s place against Port Jefferson, and performed well while also being a key contributor on offense.
“We’re going to come back and win it at home, that’s out mentality right now,” Edwards said. “We’re ready to go.”
Since there are no Class C softball schools in Nassau County, the winner of today’s game will advance to a New York State regional final to be played on Wednesday, June 5 at a site and time to be determined later. From there, the winner would move on to the New York State Final Four at the Adirondack Sports Complex in Queensbury on June 8.