As Brooke Walker goes, so does the Westhampton Beach softball team.
At least that’s the way Lady Hurricanes head coach Jeff Doroski put it on Monday when speaking about his team’s recent string of successes.
After dropping its first two games of the season, Westhampton Beach has rattled off three consecutive wins. The Lady Hurricanes reached double digits in runs in all three of their latest victories—the most recent, as of Tuesday morning, coming on Friday at home in a 16-4 victory over East Hampton. Westhampton Beach (3-1 League V, 3-2 overall) also won, 13-1, at Amityville on April 3 and defeated Shoreham/Wading River, 11-7, on April 1.
Walker led the offense in basically all of those games. She went 4 for 4 with a double, a home run and six RBIs in the victory over East Hampton. Fellow senior McKinley Skala also went 4 for 4 with a pair of doubles, three runs scored and four RBIs. Walker, along with Alexis Valerius, went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBIs in the win against Amityville also, but the team needs Walker’s offense just as much as it needs her arm in the pitching circle.
“A lot of our success will be determined by how well Brooke does in the circle for us,” Doroski said. “When she has command of her pitches, we’re going to be in games. If she’s off, and her mechanics aren’t right, and she walks a lot of people, it’s going to be tough to be able to overcome that. Now, we were able to, against Shoreham/Wading River, and I’m hoping that builds our confidence going forward.”
It hasn’t been just Walker leading the way for Westhampton Beach. Jane Paulson had a bases-clearing double in the bottom of the sixth inning that gave the Lady Canes the lead and eventual victory over Shoreham. She finished 3 for 4 and Valerius scored two runs. And against Amityville, Elana Seltzer went 2 for 3 with a pair of walks and four runs scored and Marin VanderSchaaf pitched four innings and allowed just one earned run on two hits.
“Where we struggled early on was with our offense, but we’ve been able to do that a little more effectively,” Doroski said. “I think the more pitching we see, the better we’re going to get, and Brooke got really hot this past week and that boosted her confidence and everyone else’s.”
Monday’s game against Elwood/John Glenn was postponed until Tuesday. After that game, the Lady Canes face some of the league’s toughest competition, which started on Wednesday against Mount Sinai and will continue next week at Miller Place on Monday, April 15, and home against Sayville on April 17.
“We’re going to find out what we’re made of the next week and a half here,” Doroski said. “As long as we limit our mistakes in the field, I think we can be competitive with anybody.”