04/25/15 2:19pm
04/25/2015 2:19 PM
Little League president Tony Sammartano addresses the teams during his last Opening Day. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Little League president Tony Sammartano addresses the teams during his last Opening Day. (Credit: Paul Squire)

On his last Opening Day, Riverhead Little League president Tony Sammartano had some advice to share.

To parents: Enjoy these chilly spring days with your young kids. These will be the best memories.

To the audience: Take the time to volunteer with the Little League for your own children or your community.  (more…)

04/24/15 8:00am
04/24/2015 8:00 AM

HomePlats

Saturday’s opening day ceremony will be Tony Sammartano’s last as Riverhead Little League president. After about 15 years at the helm, organizing an activity that hundreds and hundreds of kids have had the opportunity to enjoy, it’s time for him to move on to greener pastures.

Problem is, it’s not exactly clear who, if anyone, is going to run the league after Tony and his wife, Jennifer — another of the league’s five board members — step down. (more…)

04/24/15 7:59am

I have been involved in Riverhead Little League since 1996 when I began to coach my son Anthony in t-ball. I later became League President until 2002. I took a break to coach my son’s travel team for a few years. I was soon asked to come back by the members of the Board because the league was beginning to slip a bit and I have been the President ever since. (more…)

04/22/15 5:47pm
04/22/2015 5:47 PM
Riverhead's Karla Vanston went 2-for-2 Wednesday against Walt Whitman. (Credit: Bill Landon)

Riverhead’s Karla Vanston went 2-for-2 Wednesday against Walt Whitman. (Credit: Bill Landon)

As the dark clouds crept closer and light rain began to fall, the brand new scoreboard adjacent the left field line at Riverhead’s softball field turned off. By that point, in the fourth inning, the Blue Waves didn’t need any reminders of the score.

Walt Whitman hit early and often Wednesday afternoon to bring the Blue Waves’ three-game winning streak to a screeching halt.  (more…)

04/21/15 7:52pm
04/21/2015 7:52 PM
Shoreham-Wading River shortstop Alex Hutchins fields the ball as the Comsewogue runner takes second. (Credit: Bill Landon)

Shoreham-Wading River shortstop Alex Hutchins fields the ball as the Comsewogue runner takes second. (Credit: Bill Landon)

WILDCATS 12, WARRIORS 2

Shoreham-Wading River’s senior trio of Caitlin Mirabell, Alex Hutchins and Hailey Tilton have experienced plenty of thrilling moments during their varsity careers. Two years ago, as sophomores, they each played pivotal roles in leading the Wildcats to the League VII title.

The next season, the good times faded. The Wildcats, rebuilding after losing their four-year starting pitcher, fell short of the playoffs in a rare down year.

Now as seniors, the girls found themselves leading a surprisingly young team with a new coach for their final year as Wildcats.

“Coming off of last year, I wanted to do better,” Tilton said. “I’m very happy with how we’re doing this year.”

No one might have guessed just how well the Wildcats have rebounded this season. Ten games into the season, the Wildcats are 8-2, one win away from a playoff spot and in the hunt with Mount Sinai and Miller Place for the League V title.

Offense has carried the way. The Wildcats are averaging more than 10 runs per game, a number boosted by their latest win Tuesday, a 12-2 victory at home against Comsewogue.

The seniors all played big roles. Tilton went 2-for-4 with a double and 3 RBIs. Mirabell hit a pair of doubles in the leadoff spot. Hutchins drove in two runs while playing a smooth shortstop.

The Wildcats struck for four runs in the opening inning to quickly take command against the Warriors. Comsewogue didn’t help its cause with three errors in the inning.

Shoreham struck for four more in the fourth inning and again in the sixth inning.

The Wildcats fielded a lineup with three eighth graders. Second baseman Nickey Ness batted second, followed by center fielder Joy Papagianopoulos (2-for-5). Catcher Melissa Marchese, who drove in one run, batted sixth. Another eighth grader is out injured.

A big part of the Wildcats’ turnaround this year has been freshman pitcher Victoria Coman. She pitched a complete game against the Warriors, giving up seven hits. The Wildcats were strong in the field behind her. She struck out only three batters as the defense took care of the rest.

The Wildcats will get right back at it Wednesday with a game at Westhampton that had been postponed. A win would clinch a spot in the playoffs for Shoreham.

joew@timesreview.com

04/08/15 12:00pm
04/08/2015 12:00 PM
Riverhead senior Katie McKillop was joined be her parents Alice and Dave, as well as athletic director Bill Groth (standing, left) and high school principal Charles Regan for a signing ceremony. (Credit: Riverhead Schools)

Riverhead senior Katie McKillop was joined be her parents Alice and Dave, as well as athletic director Bill Groth (standing, left) and high school principal Charles Regan for a signing ceremony. (Credit: Riverhead Schools)

Katie McKillop had never picked up a field hockey stick prior to the start of the fall season. The Riverhead senior had already played on varsity for four different sports, so how hard could one more be?

McKillop was a natural, earning all-conference honors as one of the Blue Waves’ top players.  (more…)

04/06/15 2:17pm
04/06/2015 2:17 PM
McGann-Mercy pitcher Nicole Gravagna throws out a runner at first base Monday. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

McGann-Mercy pitcher Nicole Gravagna throws out a runner at first base Monday. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

MONARCHS 10, MARINERS 5

An early morning start on the day after a holiday can be a cause for alarm for any coach. Are the players going to be mentally ready? Will they come out sluggish?

Before Monday’s home opener for the McGann-Mercy softball team, first-year coach Rich Schaub was confident his group was ready. The Monarchs put together a strong practice Saturday, giving Schaub reason to believe that would carry over.  (more…)

03/25/15 2:00pm
03/25/2015 2:00 PM
Riverhead sophomore Casey Plitt pitched nearly every inning last season for the Blue Waves. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk, file)

Riverhead sophomore Casey Plitt pitched nearly every inning last season for the Blue Waves. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk, file)

Pitching and defense can carry any softball team a long way, especially in high school. At Riverhead, coach Jeff Doroski is confident the Blue Waves have both.

“I think one of our strengths last year was defense,” Doroski said. “I don’t see any letdown there. I think we will be as good defensively as we were last year.”  (more…)