A high school softball game that was basically all about offense came down to pitching and defense for the final at-bat.
Bishop McGann-Mercy had seen what had been a 13-6 lead in the fifth inning shrink down to an uncomfortable one-run margin in the bottom of the seventh inning at Mattituck High School on Friday.
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.
The undefeated record is no more.
Shoreham-Wading River joined the ranks of high school softball teams that have a mark against them in the “L” column Saturday. The Wildcats had difficulty handling pitcher Karissa Lawrence and not even a late home run by Melissa Marchese was enough to prevent a seven-game win streak from coming to an end with a 5-2 defeat at Rocky Point High School.
Two friends and former softball players who coached together last season are both now coaching at their respective alma maters, in the same town, less than a mile away from each other.
After one year of coaching at Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School, Jackie Zilnicki has slid over to take over the team at Riverhead High School, where she pitched, played shortstop and centerfield. Meanwhile, Zilnicki’s former assistant coach at Mercy, Rose Horton, takes over the Monarchs, the team she used to pitch for. Both coaches graduated from those schools in 2008.
Her formal first name is Isabella, although just about everyone calls her Izzy, which Izzy Sorgi prefers.
The Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School softball pitcher can be called something else: fearless.
Commit errors against the Center Moriches High School softball team at your own risk.
Center Moriches is too good a team to give extra outs to. The Red Devils will punish teams that don’t play a clean game, as Bishop McGann-Mercy was reminded on Wednesday.
You might say the Shoreham-Wading River High School softball team is playing with a chip on its shoulder these days.
“I think so,” coach John King said. “They’ve come out every single game trying to do that from the start.”
The previous meeting between the Bishop McGann-Mercy and Center Moriches high school softball teams was what ESPN would have labeled an instant classic. And Thursday’s rematch? Not so much.
In that memorable game on April 15, Mercy gave Center Moriches a scare before falling short, 7-6, in eight innings. Thursday’s game didn’t last a full five innings. READ