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04/22/14 6:59pm
04/22/2014 6:59 PM
Riverhead freshman Jens Summerlin in action against Southold/Greenport senior Dylan Stromski on Tuesday. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Riverhead freshman Jens Summerlin in action against Southold/Greenport senior Dylan Stromski on Tuesday. (Credit: Garret Meade)

CLIPPERS 7, BLUE WAVES 0

Dylan Stromski had a choice to make before the high school boys tennis season started. The Southold/Greenport senior, who was an All-County doubles player last year along with Will Richter, had the choice of remaining at doubles or switching to singles. Doubles would have been the safe pick, but Stromski opted to play singles for the first time since he was a freshman.  (more…)

12/12/13 4:30am
12/12/2013 4:30 AM
DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Bishop McGann-Mercy's Juliana Cintron-Leonardo driving against Southold/Greenport's Kathleen Tuthill.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Bishop McGann-Mercy’s Juliana Cintron-Leonardo driving against Southold/Greenport’s Kathleen Tuthill.

MONARCHS 49, CLIPPERS 40

Had Wednesday night’s high school girls basketball game between Southold/Greenport and Bishop McGann-Mercy been a television program, one would have felt a need to check the color on the screen. For one thing, there was Cari Gehring, a former McGann-Mercy player, wearing Southold/Greenport red. And there was Joe Read, a former McGann-Mercy coach, wearing a red sweater and coaching Southold/Greenport.

“It was a surreal feeling,” Gehring said. “When I went out there to shake hands with the captains, I didn’t feel like I should be on the red side. It was just a weird feeling.”

Weird turned to distressing for Gehring as the League VIII opener for both teams went to the white and green of McGann-Mercy, 49-40.

Gehring, a senior guard playing in the McGann-Mercy gym for the first time since she was a sophomore for the Monarchs, swished a 3-point shot from the corner to tie the score for the fifth time, 38-38, with 4 minutes 35 seconds to go.

Moments later, Fiona Nunez, playing with neck tightness, hit a 3-pointer herself to snap the tie and ignite a game-closing 11-2 run for the Monarchs (2-1). The Monarchs scored the game’s last four baskets on back-to-back buckets by Savannah Hauser and then consecutive shots by Dayna Young.

“They never gave up,” McGann-Mercy’s first-year coach, Brian Babst, said of his players. “We have people banged up. We have people injured. We’ve got people not here for illness and stuff like that, and the kids stepped it up.”

And disappointed the two people on the Southold/Greenport side who have McGann-Mercy ties. Read had coached McGann-Mercy’s junior varsity team for four years, but he also coached the school’s varsity football and boys basketball teams and figures his relationship with the school covered 12 years. “Coming back, it was weird,” he said.

Read said he knows most of the current McGann-Mercy players. Gehring, who attended the school for three years before transferring to Southold High School this year, knows all of them, including Nunez, who she said is her closest friend.

Read said his players took the loss hard. Perhaps none of them took it harder than Gehring, who had tears in her eyes during a postgame interview.

“I put extra pressure on myself,” she said. “I felt like I had to prove something.”

With the win came a loss for the Monarchs, who saw one of their players crash hard onto the floor while battling for the ball. Fiona Flaherty, a sophomore forward/guard, took the hard fall with 4:01 left in the second quarter. One observer at the scorer’s table said he saw Flaherty land face first onto the court.

“I was really scared,” Gehring said. “She didn’t look O.K.”

Flaherty laid down on the court while she was being attended to. After a while she sat up to a round of applause. Moments later, she stood up to more applause, but looked unsteady on her feet as she was escorted to the team bench area. The game was held up while emergency rescue personnel attended to Flaherty and took her out of the gym in a wheelchair.

“I was just glad that she was O.K. and she talked with me,” Babst said. “I think she got a little upset, a little scared and a little winded.”

Gehring, who has a reputation for being a scorer, first made it into the scorebook when she canned a 3-pointer 5:02 into the game. She was Southold/Greenport’s high scorer with 14 points, shooting 3 of 7 from the field, 2 of 5 from beyond the arc, and 6 of 6 from the foul line. In addition, she had 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist.

Cindy Van Bourgondien grabbed 13 rebounds for the Clippers (0-2).

The Clippers had a terrible time trying to find the basket. They shot a woeful 18.3 percent (13 of 71). During one long, dreadful stretch, from late in the first quarter to about midway through the third, the Clippers shot 1 for 21.
“I was hoping we were going to be better,” Read said. “I was hoping we could pull it together. We just couldn’t put the basket in when we needed to.”

McGann-Mercy’s scoring was balanced. Kayla Schroeher led eight Monarchs scorers with 10 points. Young produced 9 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal. Megan Kuehhas added 8 points and 5 assists. Juliana Cintron Leonardo and Emily St. Louis supplied 10 rebounds each.

“It’s looking good,” Young said. “We are a lot better than last year and we’re going to get better.”

That’s Babst’s plan.

“It’s been a rough few years here,” he said. “I’ve only been on the job about a month and we’re trying to implement change and it’s the hardest thing to do, so we’re just trying to get the kids to go in the right direction. Today it was a small step in the right direction.”

Babst wasn’t blind to the sense that the game brought added spice because of the Read/Gehring connection, but he didn’t want his players to lose focus on the task at hand. “I told the kids before the game, I said, ‘You got to focus on basketball,’ ” he said. “So, they somewhat bought into the message, but I could see there was a little bit of hype around it. You heard it all day for the last few days.”

Now the talk should subside, at least until Jan. 18 when the teams meet again in Southold.

“It was a fair game, a good game, a hard-played game,” Read said. “It was everything high school basketball should be, very competitive. It was good. Both teams played hard. So, I’m happy — except for the outcome.”

bliepa@timesreview.com

04/09/13 8:46pm
04/09/2013 8:46 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Ali Hulse swung for two hits and two runs batted in for Bishop McGann-Mercy in its comeback win over Southold/Greenport.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Ali Hulse swung for two hits and two runs batted in for Bishop McGann-Mercy in its comeback win over Southold/Greenport.

MONARCHS 9, CLIPPERS 8

For Southold/Greenport, an away game against Bishop McGann-Mercy has been something to look forward to. Stotzky Memorial Park, McGann-Mercy’s softball home in Riverhead, is one of the nicer venues on Southold/Greenport’s schedule.

For the Clippers, though, Stotzky Memorial Park is fast becoming a house of horrors.

McGann-Mercy, which trailed by as many as seven runs, turned in a four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning to triumph, 9-8, on Tuesday.

Ali Hulse’s bunt single brought in Victoria Pace for the tying run, and Shannon Willmott followed her home on the play as a result of a throwing error for the come-from-behind victory. It was McGann-Mercy’s first and only lead of the game.

“I can’t remember a time when we had a game like this in a while,” said Willmott.

Willmott was immediately reminded by a reporter of the last time these teams played at Stotzky, almost a year ago to the day. In last year’s game, two errors sandwiched around a Karlin McIntyre double in the bottom of the seventh enabled the Monarchs to salvage a thrilling 2-1 triumph.

Miscues (including six errors) by Southold/Greenport also contributed to this latest collapse.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Irene Raptopoulos of Southolod/Greenport watching the single she slapped to start the game.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Irene Raptopoulos of Southolod/Greenport watching the single she slapped to start the game.

Claire Sullivan started the winning rally for the Monarchs (3-1 overall, 3-1 League VIII) when she was hit by a pitch before later scoring on a groundout by Cassie Densieski. Katie Nolan, who had bounced a single through the infield, scored herself on a single by Pace, slicing Southold/Greenport’s lead to 8-7. After a Willmott single, Michaela Zebrowski turned in what might have been the at-bat of the game. Zebrowski fouled off six pitches from Courtney O’Sullivan before striking out. The third strike was dropped, however, and as a result of two errors on the play, the rally stayed alive as Hulse stepped up to the plate with one out.

Willmott said she liked games ending this way. “It keeps everyone in suspense,” she said. “It keeps everyone on their toes, and no one’s getting bored.”

Of course, the Clippers might have had a different opinion.

“I always tell the girls, ‘Don’t get comfortable’ ” with a lead, Southold/Greenport coach Lori Marra said. “I don’t think they did here. I can’t even put it on that. I think that both teams were making really great plays.”

The game started so promisingly for Southold/Greenport (0-2, 0-2), which put up six runs in the first inning and led, 7-0, after two.

“I think once it hit really everyone hard that we were losing 7 to 0, it finally kicked in and we did what we had to do,” said Willmott.

McGann-Mercy pulled itself back in the game. Jackie Zaweski singled in McGann-Mercy’s first run in the third. Then the Monarchs followed that with a four-run burst in the fourth. They undoubtedly got a shot of confidence that inning as Pace, Willmott (two-run double), Zabrowski (run-scoring single) and Hulse (run-scoring single) strung together four straight hits to bring in those runs.

“That inning gave us a lot of confidence,” McGann-Mercy coach Frank Baker said, “and at the bottom of the seventh inning, I called them all together and said to them: ‘We can win the game. All you’ve got to do is put the bat on the ball and be strong. Swing harder.’ ”

When Southold/Greenport was clinging to a 7-5 lead, one could sense a momentum shift. Willmott said, “I kind of noticed that the other team’s confidence was slowly shattering.”

McGann-Mercy’s leadoff batter, Willmott, had a three-hit game as did Pace. Willmott scored three runs. Altogether, the Monarchs totaled 16 hits.

Kim Bracken went 4 for 4 and drove in three runs — all on infield singles — for Southold/Greenport. She also scored a run and stole a base.

“I’m disappointed,” Southold/Greenport first baseman Nicole Busso said, “but I think that we were very equally matched teams, and I honestly can’t wait to play them again because I know that it will be a good game no matter what.”

McGann-Mercy had been involved in only one-sided games before this. The Monarchs had beaten The Stony Brook School, 26-4, and Port Jefferson, 30-7, in addition to suffering a 15-0 loss to Babylon. Pulling out a win in a close game brought value.

Baker said he felt good about his team’s chances in the bottom of the seventh.

“I felt very strongly that they were going to do something because they had to do it, and it was just a matter of putting the bat on the ball and hustling on bases,” he said. “Under pressure, they seem to get stronger.”

bliepa@timesreview.com

04/03/12 7:07pm
04/03/2012 7:07 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Karlin McIntyre (10) was congratulated by Jackie Zaweski and teammates after her second double helped Bishop McGann-Mercy top Southold/Greenport, 2-1.

MONARCHS 2, CLIPPERS 1

It was befitting for an exciting high school softball game that an exciting player should bring about an exciting finish.

Meet Ms. Excitement. Now batting for Bishop McGann-Mercy, Karlin McIntyre.

McIntyre is not only an exciting player, she is also a clutch player. The senior center fielder has a way of making things happen, whether they be a sensational catch in the outfield or coming through in the batter’s box.

It was McIntyre’s hitting ability, with a game on the line, that made the difference on Tuesday. Two errors, sandwiched around a McIntyre double, enabled McGann-Mercy to pull out a thrilling 2-1 triumph over Southold/Greenport.

McIntyre clubbed a double to center field and, on the same play, Michaela Zebrowski, a freshman, scored from first base after an errant throw home for the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning at Stotzky Memorial Park’s Wesley Brown Sr. Memorial Field in Riverhead. Zebrowski had led off by reaching base on a dropped pop fly. Then McIntyre stepped into the batter’s box and put the finishing touches on her 3-for-4 day with her second double of the game. McIntyre had been 0 for 7 in McGann-Mercy’s previous two games.

McIntyre said she thought she might strike out on the pitch she hit because she turned around when someone called her name, and by the time she turned her head back, pitcher Courtney O’Sullivan was already releasing the ball. “But I ended up hitting it,” McIntyre said. “It felt good.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Southold/Greenport pitcher Courtney O'Sullivan gave up one earned run and eight hits in six-plus innings.

It was the kind of performance McGann-Mercy coach Jacki Paton had come to expect from McIntyre.

“She’s just a gifted natural athlete who amazes you with the things that she does in game situations,” Paton said. “She’s definitely a game player, and she’ll lay it all out on the line.”

That final play capped a well-played game by both teams. The Clippers and the Monarchs proved to be a good match for each other, with eight hits each. Both pitchers, O’Sullivan and McGann-Mercy’s Anna Crowley, deserved plaudits. Between the two of them, only one walk was issued. O’Sullivan allowed one earned run and had one strikeout in six-plus innings. Crowley did not give up an earned run and struck out four.

It was the sort of game that even the losing team could appreciate.

“It was neck and neck the whole time, so my hat’s off to both teams,” said Lori Marra, whose first win as Southold/Greenport’s coach came Monday with an 18-11 defeat of Port Jefferson. Marra said she told her players after Tuesday’s loss, “Keep your heads up because you have to be proud of the way we just played that game.”

Southold/Greenport assumed a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Wendy Peterson sprayed a leadoff double to right field, moved two bases on a pair of groundouts, and scored on a throwing error.

Three hits in the fifth helped McGann-Mercy (1-2 overall and in Suffolk County League VIII) pull even. Shannon Willmott, McIntyre and Brieanne Bieber all singled (Bieber’s hit coming on a bunt) before a sacrifice fly by Crowley brought in Willmott.

Both teams left runners on scoring position late in the game.

McGann-Mercy mounted a threat in the sixth that started with Jackie Zaweski legging out an infield single. She was standing on third base with one out after a sacrifice bunt by Claire Sullivan and a steal. But O’Sullivan managed to get out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout.

And then there was another threat, this time by Southold/Greenport (1-3, 1-3) in the seventh. With two outs, Nicole Busso shot a single into center field and stole second base. Alexis Reed then reached base on an infield single and stole second, leaving runners on second and third for Alexandra Small. But Crowley got Small to fly out to the left fielder, Willmott, for the third out.

“That was a tough battle,” Southold/Greenport’s third baseman, Reed, said afterward. “I thought we did really well. It was a tough loss to lose like that, but I think overall we did really well. We’re making strides. We’re hitting better. We’re playing the field better. We can work on a few things, but we’re growing as a team and I think that the girls, as young as they are, are really stepping up to the plate for us seniors, and it’s really heart-warming that they’re doing that.”

bliepa@timesreview.com

04/06/11 8:11pm
04/06/2011 8:11 PM


GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Bishop McGann-Mercy pitcher Anna Crowley helped herself pick up a four-hit win over Southold/Greenport by driving in four runs.


Three outs away from sealing the win, the Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School softball team appeared to be holding a safe six-run lead. But looks can be deceiving sometimes. That lead wasn’t as safe as the Monarchs would have liked.

A six-run margin was whittled down to two runs by the Southold/Greenport Clippers before McGann-Mercy escaped with a 14-12 decision in an error-filled Suffolk County League VII game on Wednesday.

Were the Monarchs worried that they might lose it?

“No, never,” replied Coach Jacki Paton in a tongue-in-cheek manner before laughing.

Anyone looking for oddities would have found more than enough of them in this game, played on a cold, damp, windy afternoon at Southold High School:

o McGann-Mercy (2-1, 1-1) won despite committing no less than 12 errors. That’s right, an even dozen.

o McGann-Mercy’s starting first baseman, Tara Sledjeski, exited the game in the sixth inning under unusual circumstances. After Southold/Greenport’s Emily King hit a slow roller, pitcher Anna Crowley picked the ball up and fired it toward first base. The ball ricochetted off the back of King’s batting helmet and struck Sledjeski by her mouth. Sledjeski did not seem to be seriously hurt, although she watched the remainder of the game from the bench while Jacqueline Zaweski took over at first.


GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Heather Gadomski of Southold/Greenport made contact with this swing.


o Perhaps the weirdest aspect of all was a bottom of the seventh that defied description. “It wasn’t a pretty inning,” Paton said. “Nerves definitely kicked in. You knew something was going to happen. I just didn’t know what was going to happen.”

McGann-Mercy took a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning and never trailed. But the Monarchs suffered through some anxious moments in the bottom of the seventh.

Southold/Greenport (1-3, 1-2), which trailed by 14-8 going into the bottom of the seventh, scored four runs in a wild two-out rally to narrow the gap — all without the aid of a hit. McGann-Mercy made five errors that inning to help facilitate things for the Clippers.

o Finally, to top things off, with the tying run at the plate, the game ended when Southold/Greenport’s Caylie Jobes was called out for leaving first base early.

Crazy stuff.

“It was scary,” Crowley said. “I was afraid we were going to lose it.”

The Monarchs prevailed, no small thanks to Crowley, who drove in four runs on 3-for-5 hitting and tossed a four-hitter, upping her record to 2-1. The junior right-hander issued seven walks to go with five strikeouts, but she showed composure amid the seventh-inning spectacle of miscues.

“Hey, you know, it’s a learning experience for all of them,” Paton said. “We put ourselves in a position where we should have made the easy plays and got the easy outs, and we didn’t, and it happens, and hopefully we learn something from it.”

It could be noted that the Monarchs inserted two freshmen into the infield who made their varsity debuts, Zaweski and Katie Nolan.

And then there was the miserable weather, which might have contributed to all the errors. McGann-Mercy made 12 errors, but there was plenty of sloppiness to go around. Southold/Greenport was responsible for five errors itself.

The Monarchs banged out 14 hits, though, including three by Karlin McIntyre, who scored four runs and singled in another.

Nicole Busso scored four of Southold/Greenport’s runs, walked twice, brought in a run on a bunt single and stole two bases.

McGann-Mercy had beaten Southold/Greenport, 8-2, in a non-league game on March 22, but this time the Clippers put up a better performance. The Clippers have already shown that they are better than they were when they went 0-19 last year.

“We improved a lot from last year,” Busso said. “We’re not getting mercied. We’re not losing by a lot of runs. We’re keeping our heads up and looking forward.”

Southold/Greenport Coach Cindy Sepenoski said: “They have a whole different outlook on the season. They’re really amazing. Even the people on the bench are solid players. They’ve been all performing.”

bliepa@timesreview.com