Softball: SWR’s defense leads way in playoff win

Shoreham-Wading River center fielder Caitlin Mirabell charges in to make a catch Wednesday against Comsewogue. (Credit: John O'Rourk)
Shoreham-Wading River center fielder Caitlin Mirabell charges in to make a catch Wednesday against Comsewogue. (Credit: John O’Rourk)


The road through the playoffs will take Shoreham-Wading River to a familiar destination: Sayville.

The Wildcats opened the Class A playoffs with a 9-2 win Wednesday afternoon at home against Comsewogue, setting up a match against the Golden Flashes Friday. Over the last decade, Sayville’s been a constant roadblock for Shoreham to reach the county finals. Sayville bounced the Wildcats from the playoffs in their most recent visits in 2013 and 2012. 

“That’s what I hear,” said first-year coach Amber O’Malley. “I’m definitely excited about it. I think we can do it.”

The third-seeded Wildcats relied on a terrific defensive effort to take down the Warriors first. It was the third meeting between the two teams this year and Shoreham won all three.

Pitcher Victoria Coman pitched a two-hitter for the Wildcats as the defense came up big behind her. O’Malley said the outfield defense and left side of the infield, anchored by third baseman Joy Papagianopoulos and shortstop Alex Hutchins, were solid all game.

Center fielder Caitlin Mirabell made several tough plays, including one that may have robbed a home run in the fifth inning, O’Malley said.

The Wildcats scored three runs in the first inning to take a 3-1 lead and never looked back. They added two in the fourth, one in the fifth and three in the sixth.

Mirabell was 2-for-2 with a pair of walks and Nickey Ness was also 2-for-2 with two walks.

Junior Shelby Curtin swiped five bases in the game, O’Malley said, and was 2-for-3.

“She was in rare form today,” she said.

Early in the game the Wildcats capitalized on the Warriors’ miscues, O’Malley said.

“We were getting lucky in the first half of the game,” she said. “In the second half of the game, we earned our runs.”

The Wildcats will play at least two more games. Friday’s game marks the beginning of the double-elimination portion of the bracket. With a loss, the Wildcats would fall into the loser’s bracket and play the loser between top-seeded Mount Sinai and No. 4 Islip. A loss Friday would require Shoreham to win four consecutive games for the county title. A win would send them into a game against the Mount Sinai-Islip winner on Tuesday.

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