By Jesse Rosenthal
Although the season ended in a rather disappointing, somewhat anticlimactic manner, The Pierson Lady Whalers played exceptional softball throughout the entire 2010 season.
They ended with a 14-4 overall record, second only to perpetual divisional rivals Port Jefferson, who the Lady Whalers would have faced off against in the playoffs had they defeated McGann-Mercy in the first round knockout.
Unfortunately, things went the other way for Pierson last Saturday at home, as Mercy’s Anna Crowley allowed only one earned run on four hits, two of which were bunts, in the Class C quarterfinal. “Every team has their bad days,” said Coach Melissa Edwards. “Unfortunately Saturday was one of ours.”
That being said, the substantial success achieved in the regular season can be attributed to a well rounded, anticipatory defense backing up the consistently powerful and accurate pitching of ace Melanie Stafford, and bats that wouldn’t quit through a majority of the innings played.
Looking forward, Coach Edwards is optimistic about next season. When asked about her feelings regarding 2011, Edwards smiled. “I’m only losing two girls,” she said. Seniors Natalie Abbene and Kara Gengarelly, are moving on to college, but Edwards’ entire infield is returning, an infield that played like a well-oiled machine throughout much of this season. Edwards stated recently she thought she had the best infield in her division.
When asked if she was planning on finding some relief for Stafford on the mound, Edwards said “I’m looking at a couple of girls at the junior high level; but I’m not giving any names. We don’t want to get any parents riled up just yet.”
Also, Edwards is looking for her young catchers to mature in the off-season. Although she blossomed somewhat this season, Katherine Musnicki is expected to lead the team from behind the plate next season.
“She had a good season,” said Edwards.
Upon reflecting on the disappointment of losing in the first round of the playoffs after such a promising season Edwards was able to at least glean some good from the situation.
“We have to look at this season as a learning experience,” she said. “With most of the team coming back for next season we are in a good position to be competitive and have some real success.”