Lady Whalers' Softball Comes Out Strong


Heller_LWhalers-Port Jeff Softball '11_9312

By E.J. Yennie

Though the softball season has just begun, on Monday the Pierson Lady Whalers continued to show their dominance on the field by chalking up another impressive win, this time against the Stony Brook Bears.

After two cancellations due to rain and flooded fields, the Lady Whalers finally faced the Lady Bears at Pierson on Monday, with Stony Brook being noted as the home team. After allowing three hits and a run in the bottom of the second, the Lady Whalers found themselves in the unusual position of being down 1-0. Up until this point in the season, the Whalers have crushed the competition, even forcing a mercy ruling on their last two opponents.

It took until the fourth inning, but with one out and Samantha James on base, Nina Hemby got the team back on track with a base hit that advanced James to third. A sacrifice pop by Kaci Koehne followed and brought James in, tying the score. Stony Brook pitcher Linda Devine got out of the top of the inning with a strike out. But when Pierson pitcher Melanie Stafford took the mound in the bottom of the fourth, she made short work of the Stony Brook girls with a ground out followed by two strike outs.

A base hit by Alexa Lantiere started the Whalers off right in the fifth inning. Lantiere then proceeded to steal second, and then third, putting her in scoring position with no outs. Devine opted to walk Lindsey Warne, who promptly also stole second. A base hit followed by Kasey Gilbride that drove Lantiere in, and that’s when Pierson started racking up the runs.  By the top of the fifth, Pierson was up 6 to 1. When it was Pierson’s turn to take the field, Stafford again faced three and retired three. Stony Brook opted for a pitching change in the top of the sixth, which held the score to 6 to 1.

After being ahead by more than 12 runs, Pierson’s last two games were called in the fifth inning. But after five on Monday, the Lady Whalers weren’t yet finished with the competition. With no runs added to the board in the sixth, the Pierson girls went into their first seven inning game of league play this season. That’s when the Lady Whalers really hit their stride, scoring seven runs against the Lady Bears while letting up only one in the bottom of the inning, for a final score of 13 to 2.

Port Jeff 15, Pierson 3

The Port Jefferson Royals watched from the dugout on Tuesday afternoon as Pierson players and coaches raked and removed tarps, readying the infield for the Pierson Whalers’ first league game of the season. The rain stopped and the field was ready, but apparently the Whalers weren’t as they fell to Port Jefferson 15 to 3.

By the bottom of the fourth, the Whaler’s were down 13 to nothing and struggling to avoid a shut out. For three innings, they left men on base with no score. The fourth proved to be more of the same. Sean Romeo was tagged out at first. Forrest Loesch drove the ball to right field, landing at first but was tagged out stealing second. Colman Vila walked, but the inning ended with a pop out by Tyler Gilbride, stranding Vila and leaving Pierson scoreless.

The Royals scored two more runs in the fifth before Pierson got to bat. Sean Hartnett bunted his way onto base but was tagged out at second in a double play off the bat of Jake Weingartner. Aaron Schiavoni earned a base after being hit by a pitch, but the inning ended with him stranded after a pop out.

Pierson brought Gavin Kudlak to the mound in the top of the sixth to close the game. A base hit, two strike outs and a tag out ended Port Jefferson’s side of the inning.

First up in the bottom of the sixth, Kudlak drove the ball down the left field line to earn him a spot on first. When the Royal’s fielder overthrew the ball to first, Kudlak took second, arriving just before the ball. Sean Romeo’s grounder to third base proved to be Kudlak‘s undoing: he was tagged out in a rundown between second and third. Loesch was walked. Vila loaded the bases on a hard shot which the second baseman fumbled. Gilbride hit a foul pop that was caught for the second out. Hartnett kept a careful eye on the ball and was walked in, allowing Pierson to get on the scoreboard with Romeo walking in.

As the sun began to set in the top of the seventh, Pierson started to rally. Kudlak allowed one walk before striking out three in a row.

In the bottom of the seventh, Frank Romeo was walked by Royal’s pitcher, Tyler D’Accord. After Mike Heller struck out, Kudlak had a base hit. Sean Romeo was walked, loading the bases. Loesch had a base hit, bringing in Frank Romeo and forcing out Sean Romeo. A hit by Vila was missed by the shortstop, allowing Kudlak to score. Gilbride loaded the bases once again with a base hit, but a pop fly to center ended the game, 15-3.

Pierson will face Port Jefferson at home again on Friday, April 8. Next week they will be in Southold on Tuesday, April 12 and will be facing Southold at home on Wednesday, April 13.