The Eastport South Manor softball team lost its first game of the season last week—although its undefeated record didn’t go down without a fight.
Down 3-0 heading into the final inning on April 18 at East Hampton, junior Lady Shark Dana Taglioni led off with a single to left center field. After a single down the first base line by sophomore Nina Gaita, eighth-grader Marissa Rizzi stepped up to the plate and mashed a triple to score both Taglioni and Gaita to make it a 3-2 ball game. ESM senior Michelle Amendola followed Rizzi’s triple with an RBI groundout to tie the game.
East Hampton led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a single, a stolen base and an RBI single to right field, and the Lady Bonackers took the League V/League VI crossover game, 4-3, and handed the Lady Sharks their first loss of the year.
“Losing is never fun, but they showed a lot of character,” ESM head coach Laura Ward said of her team. “Down three runs, they never really lost faith and just kept playing and tied it against a really good team. Losing 4-3 was a tough loss and a game we could have won. It was definitely a good game for our team, though.”
The Lady Sharks were able to redeem themselves almost immediately. On Thursday, April 19, ESM defeated Elwood/John Glenn, 11-2, at home.
ESM was up by just a run heading into the sixth inning, but an RBI triple by freshman Hope Brenkert started an eight-run rally to create the final margin of victory. Sophomore Amanda Rose pitched the complete game and allowed one earned run, striking out five with no walks.
Rizzi was 2 for 3 with a home run, and Gaita and Taglioni were both 2 for 4 with two runs scored.
It’s halfway through the season, and the young Lady Sharks are in sole possession of first place with a 7-1 record in League V. Ward said she is pleasantly surprised with how well her team has started the season.
“Our offense is stronger than we originally expected,” she said. “Everyone is working real hard and showing that with their at-bat performances. But, just like with any young team, we still have work to do.”
ESM’s game on Monday at Shoreham/Wading River was postponed due to poor field conditions and was slated to be played on Tuesday. After facing the Lady Wildcats, the Lady Sharks will play Sayville and Rocky Point in League V/League VI crossover games. Both teams are playing above .500 in League VI.ON THE SCHEDULE: Tuesday, 4/24, at Shoreham/Wading River, Wednesday, 4/25, vs. Sayville; Thursday, at Rocky Point, 4 p.m.