Last Wednesday, the same day in which it made the long drive to Glens Falls for the New York State Little League Softball Tournament, the Riverhead 9-11-year-old team played its first game. That resulted in a 10-0 loss to Minisink Valley/Otisville.
“At first when we got up there it was like shock and awe,” Riverhead coach Fred Ligon said. “But after they got a good night’s sleep, they came to play.”
Riverhead recovered from that loss and won its next two games (8-0 over Glens Falls and 6-3 over South Shore) in round-robin play before falling to Glens Falls, 7-5, in the semifinals Saturday.
“We were just a little sluggish from the ride,” Ligon said of the opening loss. “The next three games they played their hearts out. We played the way we thought they would. They never quit.”
Minisink Valley/Otisville won Saturday’s final, 11-1 over Glens Falls.
Because there were no other Suffolk County teams in the age group, Riverhead received a bye straight into its first state tournament, said Ligon.
The players are: Faith Falisi, Tara Galka, Ava Gradischer, Kristy Lessard, Michaela Ligon, Abigail Maher, Brianne McKay, Megan McKay, Mikayla Nirrengarten, Deanna North, Courtney Reynolds and Madison Williams.
Said Fred Ligon, “This is definitely an experience that we’re all going to remember for the rest of our lives.”
Photo caption: Riverhead reached the semifinals of its first state tournament before losing, 7-5, to Glens Falls on Saturday. (Photo credit: courtesy photo)