The best of five finals series of Sag Harbor Fastpitch softball went off without a hitch under the lights at Mashashimuet Park, between powerhouse teams Mott and Immaculate. Mott would take game one, beating out their league rivals 23-8 in seven innings, Tuesday, July 31.
After suffering a devastating 34-10 loss against Decker in the first game of the semi-finals, Immaculate looked set on a path of self-destruction. As Decker kept laying down runs on top of the frustrated Immaculate infield, it was unknown as to where the formidable fire power of Immaculates bats had gone.
It was clear, however, that they were just waiting for games two and three.
Under a sky as ominous as their batting, Immaculate looked like a different team than the one who had lost by mercy rule, when they were up 14-9 in the fifth inning against Decker last Friday, July 27. As Decker does almost every game, they got themselves a comfortable lead early, scoring eight runs in the first inning. Decker, however, was held to only one run until the fifth, right after Immaculate scored five runs in a two out rally. With a man on second and two outs, with a 2 and 2 count up at the plate, the game would be postponed, as lightning sprung up over the outfield. The momentum that Immaculate was enjoying under the storm clouds of Friday night would be lost on the restart, and Kamal Jackson would end the inning quickly with a pop up to shortstop. Decker was also unable to get any momentum going, failing to score in the final innings of the game until a last minute ditch effort, which scored them four runs in the seventh. By then, the damage was done, and Immaculate took game two with a score of 20-13.
With the series tied 1-1 the two teams would stick it out to play the double header game three. Immaculate, fresh off a solid victory, felt confident throughout the game, and held Decker to seven runs, four of which were scored in the first inning with the first four batters. The spirit and the moxie that Decker brought out in their crushing game 1 victory seemed lost in game three, and the malaise both behind the plate and in the outfield cost them the game. Up 12-4 in the top of the fifth inning, Immaculate became ruthless, and scored ten runs in a no out rally to put Decker in danger of losing by mercy rule. Needing four runs to keep the game going, Decker looked like they could do it, scoring a quick three before getting their first out. The runs would stop, and with it Decker’s play off picture.
The series between Mott and Liquor was less aggressive, and less exciting than the duel between Decker and Immaculate, but nevertheless showcased the consistency of Mott that we saw at the start of the season. Mott took the first game with a mercy rule after five, with a score of 24-7. Mott won the second game, low scoring by league standards, easily with a score of 10-8.
With the finals set between Immaculate and Mott, it seems only proper; the best two teams of the league, duking it out, in a free-for-all five game series. Coming off their doubleheader victory against Decker, Immaculate was prime to do damage against Mott, but instead, struggled to score runs through the first few innings of the game, scoring only two up until the fifth. Mott, on the other hand, kept hammering away as is their style, starting with a towering homerun by slugger Mike Labrozzi in the second inning. With the game moving quickly, Mott answered Immaculate’s two run second inning by scoring four in the third, followed by another four in the fourth. As the game entered the middle innings, Immaculate was showing signs, yet again, of frustration, between fielding errors and base running mistakes. At bat, Immaculate was making solid contact, but it seemed that they just couldn’t get enough of the ball to hit the right gaps in the outfield, and whenever the ball came down there was another Mott player waiting to catch it. Labrozzi, however, had no problem going yard for Mott, and followed up his second inning solo shot with a three run home run far over the left field fence in the fourth. The next inning, Mott’s Keith Schuman would follow suit, smacking another three-run home run, giving Mott a dominant 12-2 lead. Down 14-5 heading into the sixth, Immaculate was running out of time to come back against Mott, but was only able to score three runs before Mott put the nail in the coffin with a big nine run seventh inning to clinch the victory in game 1.
Immaculate is far from finished, however, with four more games left in the series.