Melissa Marchese is not a typical high school softball player. Last year she started every game for Shoreham-Wading River as an eighth-grader. Not many eighth-graders play at the varsity level, never mind as starters.
And not many players in any grade have done what Marchese did last Wednesday.
Marchese belted three home runs and drove in seven runs on 4-for-4 hitting that included a double as Shoreham picked up its first win of the season in East Hampton. The final score of the five-inning game went down as 14-2.
“I have never seen somebody do that before,” Shoreham coach John King said of Marchese’s hitting display. “That is probably the best hitting performance I’ve ever seen in my years of coaching.”
Marchese, a freshman catcher, homered in the first, third and fifth innings. All of her long balls flew over the left-field fence on a windy day in which fly balls were caught up in the wind.
“It looked like the same thing three times over, three hits to the same spot,” said King, whose team is 1-2, overall and in Suffolk County League VI.
Following Shoreham’s indoor practice on Monday, Marchese said: “I get a kick out of the three home runs. I couldn’t believe it. I feel like I accomplished something great.”
Kaitlynn McGivney (4 for 5) and Joy Papagianopoulos (3 for 5, four runs batted in) also fed the Shoreham offense while pitcher Victoria Coman allowed one earned run from three hits, striking out eight and walking one.
Marchese knows how to hit. Last season she finished with a .373 batting average, one home run and 23 RBIs. Heading into Tuesday’s home game against Hampton Bays, she was 7 of 11 with nine RBIs.
“She’s an outstanding hitter,” King said. “I knew that she had potential. She had a great season last year, but she has the potential to have an even better one.”