By Gavin Menu; photo by Kevin Duchemin
Playing in frigid conditions on their home field behind Pierson High School, the Lady Whalers and ace pitcher Sam Duchemin brought heat of their own to kick start the League V season.
Duchemin tossed seven complete innings, striking out three with no walks and just two hits, to shutout visiting Mattituck, 9-0, for the team’s first win of year.
Senior Emma Romeo hit a sixth-inning, two-run homerun to cap an impressive all around day for the Lady Whalers’ offense. Freshman Lottie Evans, hitting in the lead-off spot, hit a three-run triple in the fourth inning to open the floodgates for Pierson, which had been struggling to create offense until that point.
“We really didn’t come alive until the fourth inning,” head coach Melissa Edwards said. “If was a first game jitters kind of thing.”
Duchemin got in trouble in the top of the fourth as Mattituck loaded the bases with two outs. In the next at-bat, she forced a lazy pop fly to first base, which Evans squeezed to close out the game’s first real threat.
Taylor Cox, Sabrina Baum and Zoe Diskin drew three straight walks off Mattituck pitcher Lisa Angell to load the bases for Pierson with one out in the bottom half of the fourth inning. Evans drove a triple to the fence to score all three, and came home herself on an RBI sacrifice fly off the bat of Romeo. Freshman Isabel Peters also scored in the inning to give Pierson a 5-0 lead.
Which was all Duchemin needed in the end, although she and her teammates celebrated the homerun by Romeo, the team’s senior leader and catcher.
“I thought it was going to be a pop-up it was so high,” said Edwards. “I think we looked okay today. But of course, I always expect them to play amazing.”
Pierson played at Babylon yesterday, March 26, and will host Mercy tomorrow, March 28, at 4:30 p.m. Port Jefferson will host the Lady Whalers on Monday, March 31, also at 4:30 p.m.
“There really isn’t any easy team we’re going to play,” Edwards said when asked about the road ahead. “We should have solid competition all along.”