by Andrew Rudansky
Through the strength of their bats and the leadership of senior pitcher Melanie Stafford, the Lady Whalers of Pierson/Bridgehampton have fought their way to a 5-0 start to their varsity softball season.
The Lady Whalers have bowled over the competition in each of their first five games, failing to reach double digit runs only once during that time period. To look at it another way, the Lady Whalers have outscored their opponents 60-21 this season, only winning by less than five runs in one of those games.
“Pretty much our whole lineup has been hitting the ball, and hitting it very well,” said Head Coach Melissa Edwards about the team’s hot start. “This team does not want to lose, and I don’t want to lose either.”
The most recent of these wins, occurred on Friday, March 30 when Pierson shut out Mercy 6-0. Stafford had another banner day, throwing a three hitter with five strikeouts.
The Whalers struggled to get on the board early in the game, but broke out offensively in the third inning. Stafford also went 2 for 4 at the plate with 3 RBIs, while sophomore short stop Kasey Gilbride went 2 for 3 with an RBI.
Earlier that week, on Wednesday, March 28 the Whalers took a win away from the Port Jefferson Lady Royals, 13-4. Sophomore third baseman Emma Romeo went 3 for 5 in the game with 2 RBIs. Junior right fielder Julia Schiavoni went 4 for 5 with 3 RBIs. Gilbride had a great day at the plate as well, tallying her first in-the-park home run of the season.
The home run came after Gilbride hit a shot to deep right-center field, and outran the play to home.
“She has tremendous speed and she is very aggressive,” said Edwards about the sophomore, “she probably would have went for the home run even if I tried to stop her.”
The Lady Whalers also had a non-league game scheduled against East Hampton on Saturday, March 31 however that game was rained out.
While the Lady Whalers have shined so far this year, by no means is this success an aberration. During the spring 2010 season, when the Whalers finished the season 14-4, they started the season with an equally impressive 5-0 start.
The Lady Whalers travel to Center Moriches (2-0) on Tuesday, April 10 at 10 a.m. The Lady Whalers next home game will be held on Wednesday, April 18 at 4 p.m. when they host the Southampton Mariners.
“I think that this game against Center Moriches is going to be one of our closest games in league play,” said Edwards. “If we want to win league VIII we have to go through Center Moriches.”