Tag Archive | "Lady Whalers"

Ladies Need Win for County Title

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By Benito Vila

It was truly a tribal experience in Mashashimuet Park yesterday evening, over 100 voices cheering, Pierson varsity softball down 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth in game two of the Class C championship series, Lady Whalers at second and third, one out, needing a run to tie and a win to take the title.

That’s as good as it got for the home side, Port Jefferson Lady Royal pitcher Michiko McGivney setting down two Pierson batters on strikes and keeping her team in the lead. McGivney then put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh, a bases-loaded, two-out single to left putting the Lady Royals up 8-4 and coolly quieting the Lady Whaler faithful.

In the bottom of the seventh, Sam Federico started up the cheers again, smacking a single to right, taking second when Katie Osiecki also socked a one-out single to right. But then the promising rally came undone, a quick shortstop-to-second-to-first double play killing any chance of a Pierson comeback.

The best-of-three Class C series now even, one game apiece, the Lady Whalers travel to Port Jefferson tomorrow for game three of the series. Pierson took game one there Saturday, 5-2, Federico and Kaci Koehne sparking the attack and pitcher Melanie Stafford keeping the defense sharp in throwing a complete game five-hitter.

The winner of tomorrow’s series finale moves into the state tournament and the “Super Regional” semi-finals at Mitchell Field in Hempstead on Tuesday, June 9. That semi-final match-up pits the Suffolk Class C Champ against the Nassau champ at 1 p.m., the winner there playing a regional final at 4 p.m.

After yesterday’s loss, Lady Whaler coach Melissa Edwards said she would focus on hitting and fielding work in practice today. Looking ahead to tomorrow’s do-or-die contest, she added, “We will continue to work on building our confidence at the plate and our reactions to the ball in the field. Bloop hits that fell in and quiet bats let the game get away. We go there knowing we hit first. We know we need to attack early and we plan to. And when we get in the field, we have to move a whole lot better to keep them off base.”

Saturday’s Win

In describing the game one win, Coach Edwards reported, “We got on the bus ready to win, and the whole bus ride there I felt something different with this team. They were all upbeat and smiles. We got to the field, did our warm-ups and got ourselves ready to go.”

“We jumped up early, scoring three in the first inning. Natalie [Abbene] led off with a single that got us fired up, then Kaci and Sam singled. With Sam’s single scoring Natalie. Katie came up and hit a single to score Sam and Kaci.”

The Pierson girls put together a two-run rally in the fourth, Coach Edwards recounting, “Nat led off with a single, Kara [Gengarelly] singled, and then Sam Fed hit a bomb to left, a triple, that scored both Nat and Kara.” On the day, Federico went three-for-four, with Koehne, Pintauro, Abbene and Osiecki all going two-for-four.

Coach Edwards said afterwards, “It was a great day for our bats. Nat sparked the game right from the beginning by beating out a bunt, Sam’s triple in the fourth was a monster, and Melanie’s pitching was great. She hit her spots and our defense was there behind her all game with great plays by Sam, Katie and Nat in particular.”


Ladies Set to Open Championship Series

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Ladies open Class C series on the road Saturday


By Benito Vila


Getting up early on weekends is not something high school girls are known for but in any well-lived life there are always exceptions. The Pierson varsity softball team is poised to set aside its collective and individual preferences this Saturday morning, the Lady Whalers making their way to Port Jefferson to open a best-of-three series for the county Class C title.

With a scheduled 11 a.m. start Saturday, the Pierson girls will be on their bus before 9 a.m., heading west to play the opponent it dominated 12-4 in Mashashimuet Park last month and then lost to last Friday, 9-2.

Regardless of the final score in Saturday’s opener, game two is set for the park next Wednesday at 4 p.m., the Memorial Day holiday making for a three-day break between match-ups. A spilt of those first two games would require a game three in Port Jeff next Friday at 4 p.m.

In outscoring the Lady Whalers last Friday, the Lady Royals rolled up the win that gave them the home field for games one and three. A Pierson win Friday would have done the same thing for the Sag Harbor girls and would have moved them into a tie for second place in League VIII. Instead the Lady Whalers finished the regular season 8-8 while the Lady Royals ended 10-6.


Playoff Talk


From the beginning Lady Whaler coach Melissa Edwards has liked what she’s had to work with this year. “We have all the pieces and all the talent to go far. What we’ve needed is more experience, more confidence and more consistency. Those are the things we’ve been working on building all season.”

 “The girls have put their work in, especially on hitting of late. We get that going Saturday and we’ll be OK and the game becomes easy; if we come out and wander in our focus and in our effort, it’ll be a lot harder to get ahead.”

“When we show up to win, we can give anyone a game. When we show up to play, we struggle doing little things, especially at the plate,” said Coach Edwards yesterday. “The effort in practice this week has been all I could want and then some. Getting a win Saturday will depend on whether we can take what we’ve been doing and execute under pressure, come what may.”


Like Jekyll and Hide for the Ladies

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By Benito Vila

In the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, its stars, Paul Newman and Robert Redford, are pursued by a relentless posse, and in trying to distance themselves, ask, “Who are those guys?” Lady Whaler softball coach Melissa Edwards, in trying to get closer to her team, has been asking the same question.

The Lady Whalers mauled the Lady Mariners last Thursday 14-2 in Mashashimuet Park, a somewhat unexpected outcome given how both teams had been playing against common opponents. Then on Friday, back in the park, the same Lady Whalers went out and lost 9-1 to a Center Moriches squad they had beaten 10-2 earlier in the season.

On Tuesday, Coach Edwards was still flummoxed by the up and down of her team’s performance. “They were so pumped after the game Thursday and then they had no gas on Friday. It was like two different teams, like Jekyll and Hyde.”

 “It’s not the first time this has happened this season, and it’s hard to know which team is going to show up when we go play. I thought Thursday’s win would be a good lead-in in getting back to the League VIII schedule but it wasn’t.”

After describing some of the struggles her girls had in the field and at bat on Friday, Coach Edwards added, “We need to be more consistent every time we take the field and we need to beat the teams we play from hereon in if we’re going to go anywhere.”

The Lady Whalers go into their last week of games 6-6 in conference play, needing two wins to secure a berth in the county’s Class C tournament. This week’s schedule has the team traveling to Southold/Greenport tomorrow for a 4:30 p.m. start and then to Mercy on Saturday for a 2 p.m. start.

The ladies are home in the park Tuesday, hosting first-place Hampton Bays at 4:30 p.m. Their final game is at Port Jefferson next Friday.


A Seven-run Second


Senior captain Sam Federico stepped into the pitching circle last Thursday, giving freshman Melanie Stafford some relief from her role there, and threw a complete game two-hitter, striking out six and walking two. Federico also pounded a home run to cap a seven-run second inning that put Pierson up 8-0, and allowed the team to cruise to the 14-2 final.

Coach Edwards described it as “a beautiful victory. Everyone did their part to make it happen.” The Lady Whalers were first on the board, Natalie Abbene starting the home half with a single and then coming into score on an infield error.

A walk to Megan Pintauro started the Pierson rally in the second, Abby Gawronski following with a single and Alicia Tagliasacchi with a walk. A walk to Abbene brought a run in and put the pressure on the Lady Mariners, who booted the next ball and then saw the game get away when Kaci Koehne singled and Federico homered.

Pintauro came into score again in the third, singling and then coming in on a ground out. Danielle Schiavoni doubled to open the fifth and Katie Osiecki made the score 10-1 with an RBI single. A Lady Mariner run closed the gap some in the sixth but the Lady Whalers pulled away again in the home half, two walks and two errors and a Koehne double capping the scoring.

A Different Team

Before Friday’s re-match with Center Moriches, Coach Edwards said she talked to her team about “how important it was to clinch their playoff spot right away, against a key rival, but it was like a different group of girls, like the weekend had started already.”

That level of distraction was evident in the field from the start, Stafford striking out a pair, but seeing three errors, a walk and two hits turn into four runs. Pierson’s powerhouse hitting that had been reliable the night before was also missing, the Lady Whalers failing to put anything together until the seventh and scoring just one in that final frame.

By then, the game was all but over, the Lady Devils making the most of an error and a single to add a run in the fifth and a walk and a single to tack on another in the sixth. Two Pierson errors and two long hits helped Center Moriches score three in the top of the seventh and put the game out of reach.

Stafford struck out 13 Lady Devils while scattering nine hits and working around nine errors. On Tuesday, she good-naturedly said, “I did OK, but we didn’t do so well as a team and that’s what matters most.”



Ladies Need Three to Lock Playoff Berth

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By Benito Vila

It never comes easy between the lines. Sometimes it feels like the ball is square, the bases are uphill and all the variables go the other way. Then there are days when everything goes your way, the hits fall, the outs come quick and everybody gets into it what’s going on.

The Pierson softball Lady Whalers had one of each this week: Bayport-Blue Point made off from Mashashimuet Park with a 7-2 win last Thursday then the team went to Eldwood-John Glenn and came away with a 12-8 win.

The team is 5-5 in conference play, looking forward to completing its League VII “cross-over” today against Southampton at home at 4:30 p.m. Tomorrow, the Lady Whalers open the second half of their League VIII schedule, with Center Moriches coming into the park for a 4:30 p.m. start. On Tuesday, Pierson travels to Mercy, with the first pitch also set for 4:30 p.m.

Eight wins are needed to make the county Class C tournament, adding immediate importance to today’s and tomorrow’s games. The Lady Whalers are well aware that rematches with first place Hampton Bays (May 12) and second place Port Jefferson (May 15) await them, and Coach Melissa Edwards would prefer to go into those games without those being “do-or-die”.

 “We split those games the first time around, losing a close one to Hampton Bays and surprising Port Jefferson, and there’s no reason we couldn’t get both, but I’d prefer to take care of business now, get our wins and prepare for the Class C series,” said Coach Edwards yesterday.

None then Some

Timely hitting is the key to scoring in softball and those proved to be few and far between last Thursday. The Lady Whalers bats were eerily quiet until the fifth when Katie Osiecki smoked a bases-loaded double to bring in Natalie Abbene and Brianna Hand.

Those two runs were not enough against the Lady Phantoms, who are on track for a Class B berth, even though Pierson pitcher Samanthe Federico kept the visitors off-stride, scattering six hits and five walks and recording four strikeouts. Freshman pitcher Melanie Stafford stepped into the circle Friday at John Glenn and fired off a complete game overcoming errors behind her that put Pierson behind 5-1 after three innings. In forcing the opposition to throw strikes in the top of the fourth, several Lady Whalers worked out walks to put the pressure back on the home team. The Lady Knights then had troubles of their own in the field, Pierson rolling up an eight-run rally to take the lead, 9-5. Kaci Koehne delivered a key two-run double on the way to going two-for-three on the afternoon. In tightening up the defense, Stafford struck out five, walked three and surrendered six hits.

Excitement Prevails

The Lady Whaler softball JV is currently 7-4, outscoring both Glenn and Southampton this week by 10 or more and losing a one-run affair to Stony Brook. Coach Kathy Amicucci said, “When we show up excited, we play really well. And more excitingly, we hit well. But sometimes we show up drained, and then, we’re just not quite the same team and it shows.”

In the 14-2 win over Southampton Tuesday, Taylor Boutcher went four-for-four with a double and a triple. Sami James roped a pair doubles and drove in two runners. Gemma Gardella led the team with three RBIs.



Lady Whalers Split League VII Openers

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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.”



Ladies Drop Two Tough Games, Osiecki Out

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The Pierson girl’s varsity basketball team not only lost both games this week, but they lost a starting player too.

Senior starter Katie Osiecki twisted her ankle during Thursday’s game and was unable to play during a home game on Monday.

The Lady Whalers first lost to Southold by 20 points last Thursday, finishing the game 31-51. And on Monday, the Lady Bears of Stony Brook, who are undefeated in the league, stomped out the Lady Whalers, 69-22.

Pierson played on Thursday on the Clipper’s home court, trailing six points by the end of the first quarter. But as they approached the half, the Lady Whalers nearly caught up, just down by two at half time, 20-22.

Unfortunately, starting senior Katie Osiecki, twisted her ankle during the second quarter, which slightly hurt the team’s chances of winning the game.

It is uncertain if Osiecki will be able to return this season.

Going into the third quarter, Pierson had gained some momentum. This quarter showed the most effort from both sides — where both teams scored their game-high in points. But when the clock ran out, the Lady Whaler’s 12 points were no match to Southold’s 17.

It seemed that by the fourth quarter, the Lady Whalers gave up, only scoring a single point to Southold’s 12.

All of the Pierson players scored points in the single digits during the game, with a team high of nine points that went to sophomore Samantha James, followed by senior Gabrielle Arondel with eight. Osiecki and sophomore Sarah Barrett scored one three-pointer each — the only three-pointers scored that game. Osiecki had a total of seven points while Barrett followed with five.

Monday night Pierson played the toughest team in League VIII, without Osiecki. The Lady Whalers lost to undefeated Stony Brook by 47 points.

Although the Lady Whalers are already in the playoffs, losing to the Lady Bears, gives them a 5-3 record in their league games.

Stony Brook took ownership of the Pierson court from the very beginning of the game, holding the Lady Whalers to just three points the first quarter. Approaching the half, the Lady Whalers only managed another three points, bringing the score to 6-42.

The third quarter was even worse for Pierson, as the Lady Bears held them to just two points — giving the Bears a near 50-point lead, 8-57.

During the fourth quarter, the Pierson Lady Whalers finally put double digits on the board, outscoring Stony Brook, with 14 points to Stony Brook’s 12 —  but it wasn’t enough for the win.

Top scorer for Pierson that game was Bridgehampton’s senior, Ala Pinckney, with two three-pointers earning 12 points for the team. Second to Pinckney was sophomore Sarah, Barratt, with three-points, from a three-point shot. Nell Kruszynski, a senior, followed in third with two points for Pierson.

Southold won against Shelter Island last night 46-30, giving Southold a seat in the Class C playoffs. The Lady Whalers will host Southold Tuesday to kick off the playoffs at a time to be announced.   


Girls Defeat Mercy

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Last Friday night the Pierson Varsity Girls Basketball team was on top of their game, winning their away match-up against Mercy 56-47. The Lady Whalers now hold a 5-1 record in their League VIII games.

Last time the Lady Whalers outscored the Lady Monarchs on Pierson’s home court, 52-22. This time Mercy was more competitive.

“They shot very well,” Coach Dennis Case said, “uncharacteristically well.”

From the very beginning, the Pierson Lady Whalers led the Lady Monarchs, and by the end of the first quarter the Lady Whalers had a six-point lead.

During the second half Mercy almost closed that gap, outscoring Pierson by three points, but the final score at half time still gave Pierson a lead by three points, finishing the half with a final score of 27-24.

The third quarter almost mirrored the first, with Mercy behind again, six points, 39-33. But in the final quarter the girls were able to make more headway by scoring the most points in the game during the quarter outscoring Mercy 17-14.

Senior Katie Osiecki had the team high of 17 points. Second high scorer was senior Gabrielle Arondel, with 12.

“Gab played really good, getting us a lot of rebounds,” Case said, “Overall this was one of her better games — she doesn’t always score the most points but she does a lot for us.”

Bridgehampton junior who plays for Pierson, Ala Pinckney came in third with her 11 points, three of which came from the only three-pointer shot for Pierson that game.

Tied at eight points were sophomores Samantha James and Sarah Barrett.

Pierson will play the Southold girls today, February 5, away on Southold’s turf. The last time Pierson played Southold, “it was the comeback game,” the coach said. Pinckney won that game for Pierson with three three-pointers in the final quarter. The coach added that last time they were able to keep one of their “quality girls” contained, but it would be hard to do that twice.

The Lady Whalers beat Shelter Island last week at home, which gave them enough wins to clinch a playoff spot for the Class C title.

After Pierson, Southold will face Smithtown Christian and then Shelter Island. Southold needs to win all three games to make it to the playoffs. 

On Monday, the Lady Whalers will play against Stony Brook, who is undefeated, to end the regular season. The last match-up between the Lady Whalers and Stony Brook, played on January 11, gave Stony Brook the win 57-38.

Ladies Lock a Playoff Spot

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The Pierson/Bridgehampton Varsity Girls Basketball team won on Friday against the Shelter Island Lady Indians 61-48 — putting the Lady Whalers into the playoffs.

It was a slow start for Pierson that night, with the girl’s trailing Shelter Island 12-16 by the end of the first quarter. The second quarter proved to be more rewarding for the Whalers, finishing one point behind at the half, 32-33.

During the third quarter, Pierson earned 15 to Shelter Island’s six points and were able to hold the Lady Indians back 39-47.

In the fourth quarter Pierson/Bridgehampton bested Shelter Island, 14-9.

Senior Katie Osiecki had 16 of her game-high 22 points in the second half to lead Pierson to a 4-1 record in their League VIII games. Sophomore Samantha James, gained 16 points that game and Bridgehampton’s Ala Pinckney had 10 points with six of hers from three-pointers. Sarah Barrett also had a three-pointer on Friday.

This week, the Lady Whalers will play Mercy on Friday at 7 p.m. on the Monarchs’ home court. 


Lady Bears Stop Lady Whalers Unbeaten Streak

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Last week, the Pierson/Bridgehampton girl’s varsity basketball team had a thrilling comeback while playing Southold; but this week the girls struggled against the ladies in Stony Brook.

The Lady Whalers did not have the stamina this week as they played on Stony Brook’s home court. Pierson put an end to their undefeated league VIII record, finishing behind Stony Brook 57-38, during last Wednesday’s game, giving the Whalers a 3-1 for their League VIII games overall.

“We were cold in the beginning,” varsity coach Dennis Case said, “It took us a while to get going, but I think we played very good.”

He said although the girls struggled a bit, they were able to narrow the score to 18-12 by the middle of the second quarter, and the Lady Whalers drove the ball down court five times that period, but didn’t follow through at the score board, said Case. “We were only down 11 at the half,” he continued. At that point the score was 27-18, Lady Whalers trailing.

“ [Stony Brook] had a total of nine threes,” Case said, “We had to play our “A” game to beat them,” he added.

Stony Brook found it hard to rebound against Pierson, with the Lady Whalers passing and running the ball well. But, according to the coach, Stony Brook just kept “shooting threes.”

“We played hard, it was a tough game,” he said, “We were only down six at that one point.” 

Stony Brook had 12 two-pointers and the nine three-pointers to give them their lead, according to Case. Pierson senior Katie Oseicki had the only two three-pointers, which did not stand up to Stony Brook’s, which quadrupled that amount.

Oseicki was top scorer that game with a total of 12 points.

Two girls on the Stony Brook team were able to earn 44 of the 57 total points for their team.

“They were lights out,” Case said. “They were really on that night.”

Gabrielle Arondel, a senior, followed Oseicki with 10 points, and Bridgehampton senior Ala Pinckney followed with eight points.

The match-up this week will be the Lady Whalers at home versus the Shelter Island Indians on Friday at 5:45 p.m. Last time the Lady Whalers beat Shelter Island 51-39 on the Rock.

Junior Varsity

Pierson’s Junior Varsity girl’s basketball is not far behind their Varsity counterparts. Right now they are 3-2 in league games, losing their last game against Stony Brook 19-41. Last Monday, however, the girls beat Southold by 13 points, 33-20. JV played against the Ross School – who only has a JV team – on January 9, and beat them by two points, for a final score 25-23.

“We have five games left and are hoping to win four of them,” Coach Haley Luzim said on Wednesday.

She added that she believes they are “very capable of beating Mercy,” who they lost to the first time around.

“We must play our “A” game against Shelter Island and Ross,” she said, “They gave us a good fight last time we played them.”

She said the girls are practicing hard, and concentrating on their bank shots, rebounds and passes.

“I have seen a tremendous improvement from the first year players, many of which have gained ample playing time,” she added.

Lady Whalers Thump Monarchs by 30

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As the Pierson Varsity Girls Basketball team went head to head with the McGann-Mercy Monarchs on Tuesday, the Lady Whalers were able to pull out a huge lead, beating Mercy by a whopping 30 points, ending the game 52-22.

“We had them right from the get-go,” Coach Dennis Case said on Wednesday.

It was a sweet victory for the Lady Whalers who are currently 2-0 in their League VIII games.

During Tuesday’s game the Pierson girls were ahead 16-4 at the end of the first quarter.

Coach Dennis Case said that he was surprised by the girl’s huge win.

 “I thought they might be a rusty,” he said, considering the girls were on a break for the holiday season, practicing during that time, but only a couple of times.

And the girls appeared only to get stronger as the game pressed on.


Approaching the half, the Lady Whalers managed a 30-11 lead above the Monarchs. As the third quarter rolled around, they were ahead by 31 points, leading Mercy 49-18. Starting senior Katie Osiecki, although sick according to Case, gained 19 points for the Whalers.

“She was off, you could tell,” Case said, but still was the top scorer for Pierson. The second lead scorer during Tuesday’s game was sophomore Samantha James, with 13 points. Ala Pinckney, who plays for Pierson from Bridgehampton, had a great game, according to the coach and pulled out 12 points for the Lady Whalers.

Case said that Pinckney played guard for the Whalers that night.

“It gave us a good chance to take a good look at our subs,” Case said.

“We worked on getting things better and running the break,” he also noted that the girls played good defense.

Other scorers that game included Gabrielle Arondel, a senior, who had four points, and Sarah Barrett, a sophomore, who also shot two free throws earning four points for Pierson.

Case said their next game is against Southold on Monday. The coach said he was surprised to hear that Southold had lost to the Shelter Island Indians, while Pierson beat those girls on December 23, 51-39. Shelter Island, however, narrowly beat Southold on January 5, 35-33.

“That makes us feel good,” the coach remarked.