Center Moriches, the top seed in the Class B bracket, was scheduled to host second seed Babylon on Tuesday, May 28, in the Class B county final. The postseason run for Hampton Bays ended with its second loss in the double-elimination format. Center Moriches also defeated Hampton Bays in the first round of last year’s playoffs.
The Lady Baymen lost 4-2 at Babylon in the opening game of the playoffs but then defeated Mattituck 7-2 at home to advance to Friday's game at Center Moriches.
"I think, overall, even against Babylon, we made some critical baserunning mistakes along with some defensive errors that ultimately led to the defeats," Hampton Bays head coach Rich Doulos said. "In tight games like that, it's the teams that make the least amount of mistakes that win and, unfortunately, it was Babylon and Center Moriches that made the fewest mistakes.
"We didn’t exactly light it up offensively either," he continued. "Had we put together better at-bats and not made the baserunning errors that we did, we would have put more pressure on their pitcher and things may have turned out differently. Instead we shot ourselves in the foot a couple times.”
The Lady Baymen trailed early in Friday’s game. Center Moriches got three consecutive base hits, including a run-scoring double to left center field from Alexa Andersen, and led 2-0 after the first inning of play.
Hampton Bays had a prime opportunity to tie the game in the second. With the bases loaded and no outs, Mackenzie Tyler hit a sharp ground ball to Tori Fahie at third base. Fahie fielded the ball cleanly and threw to catcher Megan Ricci, who then tagged out Stephanie Salomon trying to score from third base.
After Rebecca Harris hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Jade Zaluski from third, Marley Tyler popped out to Fahie in foul territory to end the inning, and Center Moriches still led 2-1.
Center Moriches took a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Lady Baymen started a rally in the top of the fifth. With runners on first and third and no outs, Mackenzie Tyler hit a pop fly to left field, which was caught by Caroline Casey, who then ran over and stepped on third base to double-off Zaluski, who did not tag up.
After Rebecca Harris singled in Meghan Harris on a hit to right field, Marley Tyler hit a line-drive single to center field. Rebecca Harris, who had stolen second base, tried scoring on Tyler’s base hit but was thrown out at the plate by Center Moriches center fielder Cierra Smith.
Meghan Harris finished the game with two hits and a run scored. Rebecca Harris had one hit but drove in both of the Lady Baymen runs. Marley Tyler pitched the entire game and allowed three earned runs. She walked five and struck out three.
Doulos gave a lot of credit to Tyler for the way she pitched in the postseason. Of the 11 runs scored against Hampton Bays in the playoffs, just five of them were earned. Tyler came into the season with an injured wrist that had plagued her all season long. Then, just a few weeks before the playoffs started, Tyler took a hard comebacker off her leg and had to miss a few games.
"There was a possibility of her not even playing this year," Doulos admitted. "She had to battle not only physically but mentally as well. We could tell the last couple of games she was off with velocity and location. She didn’t have her best stuff against Center Moriches but, still, three of the five runs were earned."
Overall, though, Doulos was proud of the way his team hustled every day. While he was disappointed his team couldn't reach its ultimate goal of winning a county title, he was still happy with the effort throughout the season.
"They never held their heads down. It was a great group of girls to be around," Doulos said. "It was my first year as varsity coach and I have to say I was excited to come to practice every day and I was confident we could win every game we went into."
One of the things Doulos said he wanted to do during his first year as coach was instill a confidence in the players that they could win against any team. "They definitely believed they could win the championship, unfortunately we came up a little bit short,” he said. "We beat both Center Moriches and Babylon in the regular season. It was not like it was unobtainable. Overall it was a successful season."
Hampton Bays will be graduating six players this season. Karlie Troyan, a four-year varsity starter, and Davie Romer, a two-year varsity starter, will be sorely missed, but platoon players such as Stephanie Salomon, Stephanie Williams, Lauren Wienclawski and Ana Algieri had important roles on the team as well.
"The seniors knew what to do, they knew the expectations of Hampton Bays softball," Doulos said. "Karlie and Davie, being the captains, instilled their leadership and other little things that we can't really replace. They were all great girls who showed up to practice every day wanting to work hard."
Lady Baymen Eliminate Mattituck
Hampton Bays defeated Mattituck 7-2 at home on Thursday, May 23. The Lady Baymen scored three runs in the first inning, two in the second and two in the third to go up 7-0. Mattituck scored its two runs in the top of the fourth inning on errors by the Lady Baymen defense.
Hampton Bays starting pitcher Marley Tyler pitched the entire game and allowed just one hit. She walked two and struck out six. Becca Harris led the offensive attack for the Lady Baymen, going 2 for 4 with two RBIs, a run scored and a stolen base. She had a two-run triple in the third inning. Mackenzie Tyler went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and a stolen base and Meghan Harris went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and four stolen bases.
Babylon Defeats Hampton Bays
Hampton Bays suffered a 4-2 loss at Babylon in the opening round of the Suffolk County Class B playoffs on May 22. Hampton Bays, the third seed, took an early 1-0 lead over Babylon, the second seed, in the top of the first on a single to right field by Karlie Troyan, which scored Mackenzie Tyler, who had walked earlier in the inning. Babylon, though, answered in the top of the second inning.
With runners on second and third and no outs, Bridgette Rohl hit a comebacker off of Hampton Bays starting pitcher Marley Tyler, scoring Mary Tighe from third base to tie the game. Later in the inning, Gwen Donaldson scored from third base on a passed ball to give Babylon the 2-1 lead. Then Breanna Goodfellow eventually drove in Rohl with a base hit to make it a 3-1 game in favor of the Lady Panthers.
Hampton Bays was able to get something going in the top of the sixth inning, thanks to a lead-off triple to dead center field by Rebecca Harris. After Troyan drew a walk, Davie Romer drove in Harris on a sacrifice fly to center field to make it 4-2, but that was all the Lady Baymen would get the rest of the game.
Babylon starting pitcher Alyssa Sasuk was a little wild at times, surrendering five walks, but she limited her damage by allowing only two hits while striking out three. Goodfellow finished 2 for 3 at the plate with a double and a run scored.
Marley Tyler, meanwhile, pitched well for the Lady Baymen and allowed only two earned runs while walking one and hitting a batter. She struck out three and retired the final seven batters she faced. Troyan, Harris and Mackenzie Tyler all went 1 for 2 at the plate.