By Gavin Menu
The Pierson Lady Whalers softball team struck first in the Long Island Championship game at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue on Thursday, June 2, scoring a run after Isabel Peters roped a triple to the outfield and came home on an RBI dribbler through the infield by Alyssa Kneeland.
From that point on, however, the game belonged to the Nassau County Class C Champion East Rockaway Rocks, who exploded for eight runs in the fourth inning to blow the game wide open in route to a 21-4 victory. Freshman pitcher Emily Chelius all but shut down the Lady Whalers’ attack with a complete-game, seven-strikeout performance.
Pierson sophomore pitcher Annabelle Schroeder, who had big shoes to fill this season in replacing longtime ace Sam Duchemin, gave up nine walks with zero strikeouts before being replaced by Peters in the fifth inning. First-year head coach Shakoya Davis said a long break between games likely added some rust to her young pitcher’s performance.
“The gap between back-to-back games to a week-and-a-half without any games really changed the game for us,” Davis said. “Annabelle will be one of our starting pitchers next year for sure, and we will also prepare another girl to pitch. We can only continue to improve as a program from here.”
The Rocks advanced in the New York State tournament and beat North Salem from Section I, 3-1, on Saturday at Hofstra University to stamp their ticket upstate to the Class C Final Four, which will be held this Saturday in South Glens Falls.
The Lady Whalers will lose just one player to graduation this spring in senior first baseman Taylor Cox. Peters was named All-League this week and is expected to return along with a talented senior class to lead the Lady Whalers next season.