Tag Archive | "Melissa Edwards"

Ladies Hit Rough Road

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Class B match-ups lead to three straight losses

By Andrew Rudansky

The Lady Whalers dropped their third straight game this week in a 15-0 mercy rule loss to the Babylon Panthers on Monday, April 30.

“It’s a very humbling day,” said Melissa Edwards, head coach of the Pierson/Bridgehampton varsity softball team after the home loss.

From the very first inning, the Lady Whalers were noticeably overpowered by the still-undefeated Panthers, (10-0). Currently Babylon ranks as the number-two Class B team in the state, according to the New York State Sportswriters Association.

The Lady Whalers started the game with a new-look defense, switching around most of the infield. Edwards brought Rebecca Speckenbach from the outfield in to third, switched Emma Romeo to second base, and put Kasey Gilbride in at short stop.

“It was just needed,” said Edwards, “the past four games we have just not played very well, we haven’t been doing the little things.”

Edwards added that the new lineup she has now will stay as is until the end of the season.

It didn’t take long for the the Panthers to exploit this new, untested infield, surging ahead in the third inning with a 11-run tear.

“We had errors at shortstop and around the infield, shots out to left field. It was like watching a ping pong game for a while there,” said Edwards after the game.

Freshman Sammy Duchemin started on the mound for Pierson/Bridgehampton, replacing the team’s number one pitcher Melanie Stafford. Duchemin finished with 2 strikeouts and 3 walks through the five-inning game.

Edwards decided to give Duchemin the starting spot after Stafford struggled through the past few games.

“[Melanie Stafford] wasn’t the Melanie I am used to from the past few games, so I thought we would do a switch,” said Edwards. “Sammy [Duchemin] has come in and done very well for us, I think she held her own, but we did not play very sound defense behind her.”

At the plate, the Whalers were only able to rack up 3 hits against Babylon pitcher Tiana Giuliano who tallied 8 strikeouts through the five innings.

Romeo had a double in the first inning, followed by Gilbride who hit a single in the same, however, both runners were left stranded. Catherine Musnicki singled in the second inning, but the Lady Whalers once again were unable to capitalize on the situation.

This loss to Babylon was the third in a row for the Lady Whalers, all of them coming from Class B teams. Pierson/Bridgehampton, a Class C team, has struggled this season when competing against the larger B schools.

Most recently the Lady Whalers lost to Bayport-Blue Point 10-4 on April 24, and then dropped to Mount Sinai 8-2 on April 25.

“We are almost done with our Bs, so we go back to playing our Cs,” said Edwards. “And you know that we play our Cs very soundly, we do very well against them.”

Section XI, the organizing body for Suffolk County high school athletics, schedules league matches between League VIII and VII, creating B-C interclass games throughout the year.

Before the recent three-game skid, the team started the year with an impressive 5-1 start. Now with a record of 5-4, the Lady Whalers are struggling to capture one of the League VIII playoff berths. Any team that reaches a .500 record of 8-8 is automatically given a spot in the post season.

The Whalers will need to win three of their remaining seven games to assure a fifth straight appearance in the post season. Edwards said that she is not worried, and feels her team can come back to form for their upcoming games.

“They are going to rebound, they better rebound,” said Edwards.

This week the Lady Whalers have a loaded schedule, they next travel to Stony Brook (2-8) on Friday, May 4 at 4:30 p.m. They will then move on to challenge League VII Mattituck on the following day, Saturday, May 5 at 2 p.m.

The Lady Whalers’ next home game will be held on Tuesday, May 8 at 4:30 p.m. when they host the Port Jefferson Royals (2-7).

Late Inning Heroics

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Pierson's Zoe Diskin beats the throw to home plate during the Lady Whalers vs. the Southampton Lady Mariners softball game at Pierson High School on Wednesday, 4/18/12

Pierson's Zoe Diskin beats the throw to home plate during the Lady Whalers vs. the Southampton Lady Mariners softball game at Pierson High School on Wednesday, 4/18/12

Ladies beat Southampton Mariners 3-1

By Andrew Rudansky

Despite a slow start, the Lady Whalers softball team defeated the Lady Mariners of Southampton after taking advantage of a series of errors in the fifth inning, giving the Lady Whalers a 3-1 win.

Despite coming away with the win, the Wednesday, April 18 game was a disappointment according to Lady Whalers Head Coach Melissa Edwards.

“I don’t think that we played well at all,” she said, “we didn’t hit, we weren’t able to attack this pitcher.”

Edwards, one of the most successful coaches at Pierson High School, was blunt in assessing her team’s performance and added she was afraid the Lady Whalers were getting complacent.

The win brings the Whalers up to a league VIII record of 5-1, which puts them half a game behind first place Center Moriches.

The Lady Mariners, on the other hand, have struggled so far this season in League VII, having a record of 1-4 going into Wednesday’s game.

Played under overcast, drizzling skies, the shutdown pitching and well executed defenses of both teams pushed the game along at a fast pace, keeping the game scoreless into the fifth inning.

Senior Melanie Stafford once again started for the Lady Whalers. She finished the game with a two hitter, with eight strikeouts and two walks. Stafford was pitching a no-hitter into the last inning before giving up a bunt single.

Rebecca Speckenbach was the first to score for the Lady Whalers when she ran into home on a misplayed pop fly hit by Julia Schiavoni.

A sacrifice pop fly by Sariah Cafiero allowed Catherine Musnicki to tag up and reach home, extending the Whalers lead to 2-0.

The Mariners fired back in the top of the sixth inning, when a shot to left center drove in a runner on a RBI single.

Up 2-1, Lady Whaler Bridget Canavan sent a whizzing grounder past the second baseman and into the outfield fence. The single allowed Emma Romeo to run in from second base to make the score 3-1, a game score that carried into the final inning.

Emma Romeo went 2-3 with two doubles in the game. Kasey Gilbride went 1-3 with a double, while Bridget Canavan also went 1-3 with an RBI double.

“We should have been beating this team better than that,” said Edwards. “That is my mentality, I don’t care if they are a bigger team than we are, we have to go after them.”

The Whalers next host Bayport-Blue Point on Tuesday, April 24 at 4:30 p.m. The next day on Wednesday, April 25 at 4:30 p.m. the Lady Whalers travel to compete against Mount Sinai.

High Hopes for Lady Whalers This Spring

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By Benito Vila

There are two League VIII titles on the softball banner in the Pierson gym where even as recently as three years ago there were none before. Those two championships, earned in 2006 and 2007, almost became three in a row last season, but an extra-inning title game got away against Port Jefferson.

This year’s Lady Whalers have been part of that competitive run, eight seniors returning to play for a shot at another title. Joining them are three talented juniors and three underclassmen who once played for the county softball title as Little Leaguers.

Coming in to lead the Pierson varsity this season is Melissa Edwards, a former collegiate player, at Springfield, and a former Brandeis University coach. In considering what she has seen so far, Coach Edwards describes herself as “lucky because any day anyone of these kids can be the star. They are all very talented and want it. I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids to get started with.”

The team is due to take the field in uniform for the first time today at 4 p.m., hosting Westhampton in Mashashimuet Park in a scrimmage. That starts a busy week that has the team in Longwood Saturday for a set of scrimmages, in East Hampton Tuesday for a non-league contest and back in the park next Wednesday to scrimmage Riverhead. The varsity’s season opener is next Friday at Center Moriches.

Coach Edwards expects to see competitive squads when matching up with Hampton Bays, Southampton and Port Jefferson. The League VII “cross-over” schedule will also see the Lady Whalers play Mt. Sinai, Babylon and Bayport-Blue Point, all teams that typically make the county playoffs.

Who’s Who

The Lady Whalers go into the season 14-deep, with every high school class represented on their roster. Selected captains by their teammates last week were seniors Samanthe Federico, Katie Osiecki and Megan Pintauro and sophomore Kaci Koehne. The other seniors on the team are Brianna Hand, Nell Kruszynski, Diana Rodriguez, Danielle Schiavoni and Alicia Tagliasacchi. Joining them on the roster are juniors Natalie Abbene, Abby Gawronski and Kara Gengarelly, sophomore Lindsay Warne and freshman Melanie Stafford.

Looking ahead to this week’s scrimmages, Coach Edwards says, “I want to see the girls just play. With the team I have, we can put any kid almost anywhere. With that being said, I will be playing around with the infield until I find what will work for us the best. I also want to see these kids gain the confidence in themselves that they should have. They are all ballplayers; they need to hear that they are doing things well. We need to step our confidence up a little.”

Game Situations

Also due to play in the park today is the Lady Whaler JV, a squad led by Kathy Amicucci, who once coached most of the current varsity when they started their high school careers. Coach Amicucci has given over much of her practices to working on game situations, reacquainting her team with tactics and seeing who can play where. Coach Amicucci said she liked that, “We have players that can play more than one position.”

Going into this week’s games, she is looking forward to seeing the combination of pitcher Lindsey Duran and catcher Catherine Musnicki and expects Taylor Boutcher and Brittany Scala to get time in the outfield. Samantha James, Jessica Warne, Dominque Clark and Rebecca Speckenbach will likely be in the infield, along with Kerrianne FitzPatrick and Hayley Schimmer. Chelsea Freleng, Gemma Gardella and Nina Hemby are also playing and will be filling varied roles.