Mercy’s Crowley fires first no-hitter

Bishop McGann-Mercy sophomore Anna Crowley pitched her first career no-hitter against The Ross School/Shelter Island.

Anna Crowley was simply masterful, indeed, almost perfect.

For most of the high school softball game against The Ross School/Shelter Island Ravens on Saturday in East Hampton, the talented Bishop McGann-Mercy Monarchs pitcher never even realized she had a no-hitter going. But when it was over, when Crowley, after finally walking a batter in the sixth inning to lose the perfect game, got the final out in the Monarchs’ 15-0 victory, she had her no-hitter, and the look of elation on her face was priceless.

“Anna doesn’t show a lot of emotion,” McGann-Mercy Coach Jacki Paton said. “So when she let off this huge smile, it showed how she was thrilled beyond belief.”

Crowley said she was “really excited and surprised” to pitch the first no-hitter of her career. She has been pitching since she was in the sixth grade and while she has flirted with a no-hitter before, this was her first one. Crowley, with a wicked drop pitch that batters chased out of the strike zone, fanned 16.

“My drop was heading way outside, but they were swinging at it,” she said afterward. “I am getting better at controlling my pitches, where I can put the ball to my advantage.”

Paton said Crowley used to try to overpower batters, but now “she’s starting to move the ball around nicely. Anna’s getting comfortable that things can go her way.”

Crowley also helped her own cause with the bat. She went 1 for 3, with two walks, two runs scored and two runs batted in. Brooke Lessard had a big game at the plate for McGann-Mercy with three hits, including a double. She drove in three runs and scored twice. In the top of the first inning, Lessard and Amy Boden scored on passed balls. Lessard then knocked in a run on a fielder’s choice in the third inning to give the Monarchs a 4-0 lead.

McGann-Mercy kept adding to its lead and finally broke the game wide open with eight runs in the seventh inning. Karlin McIntyre, Lessard, Boden, Amanda Burriesci, Kelly Crowley, Caitlyn Lawler, Kristin Bieber and Anna Crowley all had hits in the uprising.

Emma Betuel took the loss for the Ravens, who took their sixth loss in seven games.

The win propelled McGann-Mercy into third place with a 3-2 record.

“This is the best team we’ve had and it is continuing to grow,” Paton said. “We’ve got a lot of youthful energy that is maturing. It is fun to watch this.”

Paton said the game was “a confidence boost for Anna.”

“Anna and Amanda [the catcher] are a tough duo and they have strong bats,” Paton said. “Anna is still only a sophomore. She had 10 games of varsity experience as a freshman. She is our pitcher of the future.”

With a present that isn’t too bad.