By Benito Vila
In many team sports, Pierson, as small as it is, is still larger than some of its League VIII rivals. That’s not the case in varsity softball this year, Center Moriches, Hampton Bays, Port Jefferson, Mercy and Southold/Greenport all drawing from larger student populations.
Suffolk County has long had a tradition of “conference” play within its softball program, League VIII and League VII scheduling “cross-over” games at mid-season with those results being factored into the selection of post-season tournament seeds. Having come through League VIII play at 3-2, the Lady Whalers opened the cross-over with a 17-5 loss at League VIII leader Mount Sinai last Wednesday and a 6-0 win over Mattituck at home last Friday.
The team, now 4-3 in conference play, 4-5 overall, is poised to take on three more Class B-sized schools this week. The schedule has Pierson hosting Bayport-Blue Point today in Mashashimuet Park at 4:30 p.m., at John Glenn tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. and at Babylon next Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
That sequence of games will conclude the cross-over, leading the Lady Whalers back into their League VIII schedule with Southampton coming in next Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and Center Moriches next Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Not the Score
The one-sided outcome at Mount Sinai was “not an indication of how the game went,” according to Lady Whaler coach Melissa Edwards. “They had a one-run lead late and then our wheels came off. A couple of calls seemed to unnerve the girls some and we just never recovered. They got it going and we couldn’t keep up.”
The outcome went entirely the other way Friday, Pierson scoring once in each of the first four innings and adding a pair in the fifth. Natalie Abbene was a catalyst for the offense, going three-for-three on the day, with home runs by Samanthe Federico and Kaci Koehne keeping the Lady Tuckers on their heels. Katie Osiecki also contributed a run-scoring triple. Melanie Stafford earned the win, mixing up her pitches and making sure the visitors were unable to put anything together at the plate.
In describing her team and the games to come, Coach Edwards said, “Right now, we’re up. We know what we’re capable of doing, now we just have to go out, do it and run with it. The games this week are all against decent programs and we have to bring our A-game each time out and play together, the way we know how, from first pitch to last.”