Bye, bye playoffs.
The Riverhead High School softball team will not return to the postseason this year. Thanks to the busy bats of West Islip’s offense and the strong right arm of its standout pitcher, Rachel Wandzilak, Riverhead was eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday. A 15-2 defeat to West Islip in a five-inning game shortened by the mercy rule did the trick.
West Islip (8-2, 6-2 Suffolk County League III) churned out 19 hits as eight Lions connected for at least one hit and six had two or more.
Wandzilak (8-2), a senior headed to Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, pitched a perfect game when West Islip defeated Riverhead, 3-0, on March 23. This time the Blue Waves (3-9, 3-7) managed five hits off her and two runs from Kim Ligon’s second home run of the season, but Wandzilak was still tough. She fired eight strikeouts and did not issue a walk.
Wandzilak also had something that Riverhead pitcher Casey Plitt did not have: a wealth of run support.
Kiersten Comer drove in four runs herself. Alyssa Adams (4 for 4) and Wandzilak (3 for 4) knocked in two runs each. Erin Schweers and Gianna Raimondi contributed three hits and a run batted in each.
Other than Ligon’s long drive over the right-field fence, Riverhead’s only other hits came from Alexis Polak and Jess Freeborn, with two singles each.
Photo caption: Kim Ligon (14) is mobbed by her Riverhead teammates at home plate after smacking a two-run homer in the fourth inning. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)