It was a sign of how far they have come this season.
The Bishop McGann-Mercy Monarchs softball team was leading The Ross School/Shelter Island Ravens, 2-0, in the third inning of Tuesday afternoon’s game at Stotzky Memorial Park in Riverhead. The Monarchs had the bases loaded and Kristin Bieber, who led off the inning with a walk, was on third base.
McGann-Mercy Coach Jacki Paton said, “I told Kristin if the opportunity was there to steal home to take it.”
Bieber seized the moment and stole home. The Monarchs went on to win, 9-0.
With three regular-season games remaining, the Monarchs (9-7, 8-7 in Suffolk County League VIII) need only one win to clinch their first playoff appearance in over 15 years.
Anna Crowley pitched another masterful game for the Monarchs, as she tossed a one-hitter over six innings. Emma Betuel got the only hit off of her in the first inning. Crowley had no-hit Ross/Shelter Island (2-15, 2-15) earlier in the season. This time, aside from the one hit, Crowley walked two and struck out five.
McGann-Mercy got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning when Bieber’s fielder’s choice brought home Brooke Lessard. The Monarchs added a run in the second. Amanda Burriesci, who had walked and stolen second base, scored on a Marissa James single.
Bieber ignited the three-run, third-inning rally with a walk. Kelly Crowley followed with a single and Burriesci walked to load the bases. Bieber then stole home. Brieanne Bieber singled and James delivered a two-run single to make it 5-0.
McGann-Mercy added three more runs in the fourth when Kristin Bieber had a run-scoring single, Kelly Crowley drove in a run with a fielder’s choice and Bieber scored on a wild pitch. Burriesci doubled in Anna Crowley in the sixth for the Monarchs’ final run.
James went 3 for 3, with three runs batted in. Burriesci scored twice and Kristin Bieber, in addition to knocking in a pair of runs and making her daring steal of home, also started a double play at shortstop in the sixth.
“We’re not a powerhouse hitting team,” Paton said, “but when we put the ball in play good things happen.”
In a non-league game that had been rained out earlier in the season, McGann-Mercy rolled past the Comsewogue Warriors, 14-5, on Friday. The Crowley sisters were too much for Comsewogue (3-16, 2-15 in League V). Kelly Crowley had three hits and drove in three runs. Anna Crowley was not only the winning pitcher, she had a hit, scored a run and had an RBI single.
McGann-Mercy will wrap up its regular season with a home game tomorrow against the Mattituck (Tuckers 4-14, 3-13) and then another against the Pierson/Bridgehampton Whalers (12-3, 12-3) on Monday night, Senior Night.
“Every day we work to get better,” Paton said. “Making the playoffs would help the program tremendously. It would mean so much to our three seniors. These are great kids that have gone through the struggles. They really deserve to make it.”