05/15/14 2:00pm
05/15/2014 2:00 PM
Shoreham-Wading River lacrosse players Troy Miller (left) and Logan Hoffmann will lead their respective teams into the playoffs Saturday. (Credit: Bill Landon/Garret Meade)

Shoreham-Wading River lacrosse players Troy Miller (left) and Logan Hoffmann will lead their respective teams into the playoffs Saturday. (Credit: Bill Landon/Garret Meade)

In a roller-coaster season for the Shoreham-Wading River girls and boys lacrosse teams, the Wildcats will both get a fresh start when the playoffs begin Saturday.

At times earlier in the season, making the playoffs was no given for each team, which are both under the direction of new coaches this season.  (more…)

05/22/13 9:25pm
05/22/2013 9:25 PM

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Riverhead shortstop Danielle Napoli applies the tag at second base on a Bay Shore runner Wednesday in the Class AA quarterfinals.

SUFFOLK CLASS AA QUARTERFINALS | MARAUDERS 3, BLUE WAVES 0

The No. 8 Riverhead Blue Waves were eliminated from the Suffolk County Class AA softball quarterfinals, dropping a 3-0 decision to top-seeded and host Bay Shore on Wednesday afternoon.

Bay Shore right-hander Michelle DeVito allowed two hits, struck out 11 batters and walked only one at Jim McGowan Field at the Fifth Avenue Elementary School.

Kali Alzate went 2-for-3 with a solo home run in the fourth inning for Bay Shore.

Only five Riverhead players reached base as Stephanie Falisi doubled with two out in the second inning. Sara Tucci had the other hit. Danielle Napoli twice got on via errors and starting pitcher Amanda Graziano walked as the Blue Waves finished at 15-6.

The Marauders (20-1) will host fourth-seeded Hauppauge in the semifinals on Friday.

05/22/13 12:00pm

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Brittany Mahan of Shoreham-Wading River receiving a throw to get Sayville’s Emily Sellitti out.

SUFFOLK CLASS A FIRST ROUND  |  GOLDEN FLASHES 4, WILDCATS 0

To stop a softball team like Sayville, you just might have to be perfect. After all, the Golden Flashes are the defending New York State Class A champions.

For three-plus innings on Tuesday afternoon, Shoreham-Wading River senior right-hander Chelsea Hawks was perfect, mowing down the opening 10 batters before the fourth-seeded Golden Flashes took advantage of some imperfect play by the No. 5 Wildcats and some errors to break through for a 4-0 home win in the Suffolk County Class A Tournament first-round game.

“We gave them four outs every inning, which didn’t help,” said a tearful Hawks, who played in her final high school game. “And it wasn’t our game.”

For the third year in a row, Sayville (18-3) eliminated Shoreham (16-3) from the playoffs.

“We had been playing pretty good and we thought we had a pretty good shot,” Hawks said. We played them last year … and beat them twice during the season. I knew we had a shot, definitely. We just had to play our game and make every play, which we didn’t do.”

Shoreham coach Christina Shiffman agreed.

“They’re definitely a quality team with quality hitters,” she said. “On the mound, even though they had four runs on the board, Chelsea on every single pitch, we had to be careful with all batters because they have a great hitting team. You have to be close to perfect and I think it helps to score first and that’s what we were going for in there.”

Sayville scored first as it the hosts took advantage of just about every mistake — large and small.

“They definitely did,” Hawks said. “We made an error and they took it to their advantage. So, we gave it to them, completely.”

Hawks (15-2) was unhittable through the first 10 hitters, striking out five, including the side in the third inning. With one out in the fourth, Sayville second baseman Jess Griffin tried a bunt that third baseman Alex Hutchins threw over the head of first baseman Erin Whelan. Griffin wound up at second.

“At that point, we were just trying to get something going, put the ball in play, making them make plays,” Sayville coach Brittany Rowan said.

After retiring Cindy Griffin on an infield pop-up, Hawks walked Kristen Bricker. Olivia Kaczmarak singled in Griffin and Crissy Malone drove in Bricker with another single for a 2-0 lead.

“Chelsea Hawks is an absolutely phenomenal pitcher,” Rowan said. “We knew that we were going to have to make some adjustments at the plate. We went one-two-three for the first, second and third inning. They learned from their at-bats. They went up and they started driving the ball.”

The hosts added a run in the fifth inning as Emily Sellitti singled, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Jess Griffin’s single. With two out in the sixth and Malone on second with a double, the Wildcats twice allowed catchable pop-ups to fall in foul territory, giving Kerry Keehan a lifeline and two extra opportunities to lash a run-scoring single to center.

“Unfortunately, that’s the way the momentum goes sometimes, not in our favor,” Shiffman said. “In practice and every time we talk to them, we stress to them how important it is to play as perfect as we can and make no errors. Sometimes it can be contagious, and unfortunately, that’s what happened.”

Sayville junior right-hander Julia Simpson (12-2) was quite effective, limiting the Wildcat to only one hit — by Brittany Mahan in the first inning. Hutchins managed to reach base three times — all on errors. Simpson struck out four batters and walked one.

“We just didn’t hit,” Hawks said. “We can’t win with no hits.”

Simpson got the start because Amanda Eremita had a 101-degree fever.

“She’s filling in some big shoes from last year,” Rowan said of Simpson. “I’m so proud of what she’s done throughout the whole year.”

If Sayville has any aspirations of repeating as a state champion, Rowan hasn’t talked about it.

“We never talk about one game, anything in the future,” she said. “It’s always who we’re playing. We only focus on that. We don’t look ahead. To tell you the truth, I don’t look ahead. People are asking me, ‘When’s the next game?’ I don’t know. I’m very superstitious. We don’t look ahead to the future or to the past. What we did was nice, but it doesn’t help us get to where we need to get today.”

The Golden Flash’s next game is against top-seeded Miller Place in the semifinals on today.

“They can go far,” Shiffman said. “They can beat anyone in Suffolk County. I think they can be competitive. If they don’t win, they’ll give every team a run for their money.”

05/17/13 7:22pm
05/17/2013 7:22 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River second baseman Kyle Pendergast tries to turn a double play against Eastport-South Manor Friday.

There will be a new county champion in 2013.

Shoreham-Wading River fell 8-1 Friday afternoon at Eastport-South Manor in a Class A loser’s bracket game, ending the Wildcats’ run of two straight county championships. The Wildcats dropped into the loser’s bracket after a 4-1 loss to Sayville Wednesday.

The sixth-seeded Wildcats caught a tough break facing the second-seeded Sharks in the first game of the loser’s bracket. The Sharks, who won League VI, were upset in the first round by John Glenn, a team that needed to win its final four games of the regular season in League VII to clinch a playoff spot.

Led by starting left-hander John Maccio, the Sharks dominated early to quickly blow the game open. Maccio pitched a complete game, giving up three hits with seven strikeouts. The Sharks scored three in the second and four in the fourth, more than enough to hold off the Wildcats.

Shoreham (12-10) used four pitchers and starter Evan Kearney took the loss.

Eastport third baseman Mat Annunziata was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.

Shoreham was still without its top hitter, Nick Bottari. He’s been sidelined most of the spring with torn cartilage in his wrist.

The Wildcats ended the season on five-game skid, after getting swept by top-seeded Bayport-Blue Point in the final series before the playoffs.

Eastport (17-5) still faces a long road through the loser’s bracket. The Sharks will play again Monday against Miller Place, needing five more wins in a row to claim the county championship.

Bayport will face Sayville Wednesday and the winner will be one win away from the county title.

05/17/13 2:00pm

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Sarah Freeborn batting against Deer Park earlier this season.

The Riverhead softball team will open the Class AA playoffs Monday with a home game against Smithtown West. The Blue Waves were seeded eighth in the bracket after finishing the season 15-5 overall. The Bulls are seeded ninth, according to the brackets released Friday afternoon by Section XI.

The game is scheduled for 4 p.m.

The winner of Monday’s game will most likely have to face top-seeded Bay Shore in the next round. Bay Shore will play the winner of No. 16 Kings Park and No. 17 Centereach.

Smithtown West went 13-6 in League III. Riverhead lost to Smithtown West April 16, 5-4.

The Blue Waves ended the season winning six of their final seven games to finish one game behind both Hauppauge and Half Hollow Hills West for first place. Four of those wins were by one run.

The playoff bracket becomes double elimination starting in the semifinals. So the Blue Waves would need to win two games to reach the double elimination part of the bracket.

In Class A Shoreham-Wading River was seeded fifth and will open the playoffs Tuesday against rival Sayville, the fourth seed. The Golden Flashes have ended the Wildcats’ season in the playoffs each of the past two years. The Wildcats opened the regular season this year against Sayville and lost 7-2.

The Wildcats finished 16-2 overall, but did not receive a higher seed after playing in League VII. Two Class A playoff teams were in League V and three others played in League VI.

If the Wildcats win they would advance to play top-seeded Miller Place May 23.

joew@timesreview.com

05/11/13 10:00am
05/11/2013 10:00 AM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO  |  Dan Czelatka, who scored four Riverhead goals, faces a double team against Northport Thursday.

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Dan Czelatka shoots against Northport.

The wait is over.

After a 10-win season last year that left them on the outskirts of the playoffs, the Riverhead Blue Waves will enter the dance this season for the first time.

The Blue Waves’ 8-6 Division I record positioned them 13th in the power rankings at the conclusion of the regular season yesterday. That sets up a first-round playoff matchup Thursday at Smithtown East, the No. 4 seed. The game is tentatively slated for 4 p.m.

The top three seeds — Ward Melville, Smithtown West and Northport — all receive a first-round bye.

Riverhead finished the regular season 10-6.

The Blue Waves actually finished with one fewer league win than last year, but a tougher schedule allowed the power points to work in their favor this season.

Riverhead did not play Smithtown East in the regular season. The Blue Waves went 1-5 against playoff teams in the regular season.

joew@timesreview.com

11/19/12 10:16am
11/19/2012 10:16 AM

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Riverhead receiver Quinn Funn hauls in a pass against North Babylon in the Blue Waves’ regular season victory.

The Riverhead Blue Waves will play North Babylon in the Division II county championship at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Section XI announced Monday morning.

The game was tentatively scheduled for noon Sunday as part of a doubleheader with the Division IV championship. But after the Stony Brook University football team received at an-large bid to the playoffs, earning a home playoff game Saturday, the high school schedule had to be reworked.

There will now be three games Sunday beginning with the Division I championship at 11 a.m. between Sachem East and William Floyd. The Division III championship between Westhampton and Sayville will be 3 p.m. The Division IV championship between Mount Sinai and Babylon has been moved to Monday at 6 p.m.

Admission to each game is $6.

Riverhead won 30-14 against West Babylon Saturday to advance to the finals.

The Division II Long Island championship game will be noon Dec. 1 at Stony Brook.

joew@timesreview.com

11/17/12 12:45pm
11/17/2012 12:45 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Rivheread halfback Jeremiah Cheatom carries the ball against West Babylon in Week 1.

No. 1 Riverhead (7-2) vs. No. 4 West Babylon (5-4)

Division II Semifinals

Coach Mike McKillop Memorial Field

The consensus on the field after Riverhead’s quarterfinal playoff victory over Walt Whitman last weekend was that the Blue Waves would be playing East Islip today in the semifinals.

Only West Babylon, the No. 8 seed going into the playoffs, had other plans. West Babylon stunned No. 1 seeded and previously unbeaten West Islip, shaking up the rest of the Division II playoffs.

Teams are reseeded after the first round, so Riverhead jumped up to the No. 1 spot for the semifinals. Instead of facing East Islip, the Blue Waves will now face the Eagles, a team the Blue Waves throttled in Week 1. Riverhead lost to East Islip in the regular season.

While the Blue Waves won handily in Week 1, the Eagles were dealing with several injuries at the time and have come a long way since. And they still have a dynamic quarterback in Clifton Melhado, who rushed for 129 yards against the Blue Waves this season.

The winner of today’s game advances to the county finals next weekend against either East Islip or North Babylon. That game is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 25 at noon at Stony Brook University.

To follow all the action from today’s game, click on the live blog below as former Blue Wave Michael Hejmej provides all the updates: