Whenever a player on the Bishop McGann-Mercy softball team gets a new bat, good things seem to happen. On Wednesday it was junior Kate Wilkie’s turn.
Wilkie christened her new bat by socking her first career home run, a three-run job that sent the Monarchs on the way to an 11-9 win over Port Jefferson in Riverhead. The game was played in raw conditions, with rain beginning to fall about halfway through and the temperatures in the mid-40s.
Wilkie’s homer in the third inning gave Mercy (6-3, 6-2 Suffolk County League X) a 9-4 lead. It was part of a four-run inning.
Ever since rallying for four runs in the first, ignited by Izzy Sorgi’s RBI single, Mercy never trailed, although Port Jefferson (1-8, 1-8) made things uncomfortable for the Monarchs with a four-run burst of its own in the seventh to narrow the gap between the teams.
A pair of bases-loaded walks by Sorgi and Margaret Terry, Mercy’s only senior, had stretched the Monarchs’ lead to 11-5 in the fifth.
Port Jefferson made pitcher Sarah Penny work for the win. In the seventh, the Royals banged out four hits, including an RBI single by Julia Postol and a two-run double by Ashley Catoggio. Gabby Sanchez brought in the final run on a groundout. After Chiara Rabeno walked, the potential tying run walked up to the plate. But Devin Rotunno lined out to first baseman Jordyn Stromski to end it.
Sorgi and Terry had two RBIs each. Caryn Nabrizny (two runs, RBI), Lauren Hanna (run, RBI, stolen base) and Jean (run) had two hits apiece.
Ashley Catoggio knocked in three Port Jefferson runs. Teammate Jackie Brown scored three runs, produced two hits and stole third base twice. Taylor Catoggio had two hits, including a stand-up triple.