BLUE WAVES 13, BULLDOGS 1
For a team that wasn’t expected to produce a ton of runs this season, the Riverhead Blue Waves have been lighting up the scoreboard of late.
The Blue Waves won 13-1 at North Babylon Tuesday morning for their second straight double-digit victory. It was their third game scoring in double figures already this season.
After dropping three straight games, two by one run, the Blue Waves (3-3 League IV) have bounced back with a pair of lopsided wins, thanks in large part to a proficient lineup that has been producing from top to bottom.
Against the Bulldogs, eight of the nine starters in the lineup had at least one hit. Even the the eight and nine hitters, Amanda Commins and Corinne Kimmelman, combined to go 5-for-6.
“The bottom of the lineup got it going real well,” said Riverhead coach Bob Fox. “That’s why it takes a team to win.”
The Blue Waves scored in every inning but the fourth before the game ended after six with the Blue Waves ahead by 12.
The Blue Waves welcomed back junior Alex McKillop into the lineup. She injured her back sliding into second base about two weeks ago and has been out of the lineup since.
McKillop, who typically plays shortstop, moved over to third base to limit her running and Stephanie Falisi played short. McKillop said she has been getting physical therapy to help her get back on the field.
McKillop said she didn’t let the injury affect her once she stepped onto the field Tuesday.
“Pain doesn’t really bother me,” she said.
She had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs. She reached base five times, twice on walks and once on an error, which still plated a run for an RBI.
“I felt good,” she said.
McKillop delivered an opposite field single to left in the sixth inning to drive in the Blue Waves’ 13th run. That allowed the Blue Waves to close the game out in the bottom half and send everyone home an inning early thanks to the mercy rule.
The Blue Waves have tried to maintain a simple approach offensively by simply putting the ball in play.
“Just making contact, smart base running and connecting when we hit,” McKillop said.
Fox said getting a run early and putting the pressure on North Babylon was key.
“That’s a big boost for us, getting one run in, going up 1-0 and holding them down,” he said. “The offense feeds off each other. We scored on their mistakes, too.”
The Blue Waves scored three in the second and three more in the third to quickly blow the game open. Kimmelman hit a ground-rule double to left in the second to set the stage for a big inning. Second baseman Sara Tucci drove in a run and then two more came across when McKillop reached on an error.
Tucci had a big day at the plate as well with three hits, two RBIs and two runs.
Center fielder Allison Doscinski had a two-run single up the middle in the third inning to make it 7-0. Doscinski also had the biggest defensive play of the game in the bottom half of the inning.
With a runner on first, left fielder Alyssa Gulino singled to left field. The ball scooted free of Kimmelman as she came in on the ball and it rolled behind her along the foul line. Doscinski, who began the play near right-center, had been charging toward left field to back up the play. She got to the ball first and threw a strike to third base to get the runner trying to advance.
It was the second out of the inning and prevented the Bulldogs from potentially putting together a big inning to get back into the game.
“It’s her third year on the team and she’s coming up big for us,” Fox said.
Amanda Graziano threw a complete game for Riverhead, giving up one unearned run in the fifth.
“It’s not one of her best outings but it was a very good game,” Fox said.
The Bulldogs had a rough day on the bases, which made it hard to sustain any kind of rally. North Babylon had a runner caught stealing in the first and another runner ruled out in the second for leaving first base early. Then in the fifth a runner on second was ruled out for leaving the base while Graziano had the ball in the pitching circle. The runner was listening to instructions from the coach at third, took a few steps off the base and didn’t return without calling timeout.