Out of the 12 girls on the Eastport South Manor softball team roster, four of them have two years of varsity experience. The rest are all playing on the varsity level for the first time.
So an undefeated start to the season, while not totally out of the cards for the Lady Sharks, most likely wasn’t expected. But that’s exactly what ESM has done.
The Lady Sharks beat Kings Park 6-2 on Monday after winning their first game of the season, 14-2, at Harborfields on Thursday, March 29.
ESM and Kings Park have had some great games against one another the past few seasons but both teams have completely new looks this year. ESM lost nearly its entire team to graduation last year, while Kings Park lost ace pitcher Lindsey Taylor, who is now playing at Syracuse University.
The Lady Sharks jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three innings of play. The Lady Kingsmen scored two runs in the fourth but ESM responded with a run in the fifth and a run in the sixth. ESM sophomore Amanda Rose picked up her first varsity win, pitching the complete game and striking out 10 while walking just one.
ESM freshman Jackie Chester went 3 for 4 with two doubles, a run scored and three RBIs while eighth-grader Marissa Rizzi went 2 for 4 with two runs scored. Eighth-grader Kailah Konkel went 1 for 3 with three RBIs.
“This was a big win for us,” ESM head coach Laura Ward said. “I thought this was a good test for them and they came through. Kings Park is historically a good team and they were a good team today but we did well.”
ESM jumped out on Harborfields quickly, amassing 12 runs in three innings. The mercy rule does not kick in until the fifth inning so both teams played until ESM was able to get a 12-run lead in the fifth.
Chester went 2 for 3 with a three-run home run in the second inning and totaled five RBIs. The lone senior for ESM, Michelle Amendola, went 2 for 4 with a three-run home run in the third and had four RBIs. Junior Jenny Rutigliano went 1 for 1 with a sacrifice bunt and two RBIs.
ESM sophomore Kyra Konkel picked up her first varsity win, going all five innings and giving up two unearned runs on two hits and no walks.
Ward said both she and assistant coach John Maloney were “pleasantly surprised” to see the offensive outburst from their team.
“The Harborfields pitcher was good but very hittable,” Ward said. “For a young team, we seem to handle ourselves well at the plate, very patient, and it paid off.”
The Lady Hurricanes softball team is still searching for its first victory of the season. Westhampton Beach lost 5-0 at Miller Place on March 28 before losing, 9-0, at home to Sayville the following day.
Additional information was not provided.ON THE SCHEDULE: ESM—Tuesday, 4/3, vs. Comsewogue; Monday, 4/9, vs. Center Moriches (non-league), 2 p.m. Westhampton Beach—Wednesday, 4/4, vs. Rocky Point, 4 p.m.; Monday, 4/16, at Shoreham/Wading River, 4 p.m.