As well as the Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats had just played, what they did afterward, off the softball field, might have been even more impressive.
After putting the finishing touches on their Senior Day game, a 13-1 mercy-rule win over Harborfields Monday, the Wildcats somehow made their way atop the roof of their dugout to pose for photos. And it wasn’t an easy climb.
“I climbed the fence, thought I was going to die, but it worked out,” said second baseman Olivia Baudo.
Then, after photos were taken of the players atop the dugout, they all made their way down, except for the four seniors — pitcher Victoria Coman, first baseman Sarah Fabian, catcher Katherine Opiela and Baudo. They smiled for the cameras while lying down on their stomachs and looking out over the edge.
“It’s become a tradition here on Senior Day to get their picture taken on top of the dugout,” said assistant coach Tom Veryzer, who presided over the pregame ceremony in which teammates presented the seniors with bouquets of flowers. “I think it’s great. We just have to always make sure everyone gets up and down safely.”
The dugout climb/photo session was the final piece to what the Wildcats (5-7 overall and in Suffolk County League VII) could consider a perfect Senior Day. Shoreham, which had lost four of its previous five games, was in need of a win, and Monday’s result was just the right medicine. It was good salve for players looking to boost their offensive statistics. Katlynn McGivney (two RBIs, double) and Fabian (RBI, two doubles) both enjoyed 3-for-4 games. Melissa Marchese drove in three runs, two from a double and one from a triple. Coman and Baudo each had a pair of RBIs.
“Our hitting was great today,” said Baudo.
Altogether, Shoreham belted out 15 hits.
Five of those hits came in Shoreham’s four-run fifth. Marchese drove a double to deep centerfield, bringing in two runs, Baudo delivered a sacrifice fly and then Fabian’s second double of the day scored the run that brought the 12-run mercy rule into effect, stopping the game 67 minutes after it had started.
Coman, a righthander who will play for St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, allowed six hits and a walk. The four-year varsity player had three strikeouts as she shut out Harborfields (1-9, 1-9) over the final four innings.
The Tornadoes had opened the scoring in the first when Hayliey Heid slammed an RBI single off third baseman Joy Papagianopoulos’ glove.
Before the inning ended, though, Shoreham went in front, 2-1. McGivney scored on a groundout and Baudo socked a triple for the second run.
A five-run rally followed in the second. Lindsay Cahill looped an RBI single, Papagianopoulos brought in a run with a groundout, Marchese ripped an RBI triple and Coman supplied a sacrifice fly.
McGivney tacked on two more runs in the third with her bases-loaded double.
Shoreham’s season has had its ups and downs. “It’s like a little bit of a roller coaster right now, going up and down,” Fabian said. “Right now we’re going up.”
Veryzer said: “We want to get on the winning track. We still have six big games left and we’re going to look to make a run here. We still believe that we haven’t played our best softball yet.”
So, what was Senior Day 2018 like?
“Honestly, it was exactly how I expected it to be, very positive and it was just fun to see all the girls all hyped and ready to play our best,” said Baudo, who plans to play for Suffolk County Community College. “The feeling of being a senior and having everybody behind you and supporting you is just such a great feeling.”
Fabian and her fellow seniors seemed to have a good time. After getting down from the dugout roof she said, “It’s been a great day, one to remember.”
Photo caption: Shoreham-Wading River’s four seniors — from left, pitcher Victoria Coman, first baseman Sarah Fabian, second baseman Olivia Baudo and catcher Katherine Opiela — on the dugout roof. (Credit: Bob Liepa)