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Softball: New setup leaves Wildcats out of playoffs

Shoreham-Wading River softball player Katlynn McGivney 051016

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 Wildcats certainly did in their 10-2 home victory over Elwood/John Glenn in non-league action on a Senior Day Tuesday afternoon.

They might even have more incentive because they have been denied a spot in the playoffs due to some new rules this year. Shoreham (10-8, 5-6) needed to finish above .500 in Suffolk County League VI; crossover wins did not count in the league record.

Under the old regulations, the Wildcats would have needed to finish at least .500 in the league or register a minimum of 10 victories, including crossover games with League V teams.

“I think we do deserve it, to be in the playoffs,” sophomore pitcher Victoria Coman said. “We’re good enough to be in the playoffs.”

Shoreham will finish its league season against Mount Sinai (17-0, 11-0), the top-ranked Class A team in the state, on Wednesday.

“We set ourselves three goals this year,” King said, “the first being we want to try to make the playoffs, the second being to finish with a winning record and the third beating a quality team. We’ve come close to that on a couple of occasions.”

Shoreham, for example, dropped a 5-4 decision at Mount Sinai on April 6.

“We want to finish with as many wins as possible because with the new playoff format, the league record means everything and the crossovers don’t mean anything, which is the first year we’re doing that,” King said. “We want to prove a point that if it was any other season but this one, 10 wins gets you in the playoffs with a .500 record or better. So today, it would have [been] a greater Senior Day clinching the playoffs, but unfortunately that’s not going to be the case this year.”

So, the Wildcats took out their frustrations on the Knights (1-17, 1-10 League V), whose late arrival forced the game, originally set to start at 4:30 p.m., to start at 5:10.

The wait was worth it.

Shoreham erased a 1-0 first-inning deficit by scoring four runs in the bottom of the inning. The rally was keyed by first baseman Shelby Curtin’s two-run double to straight-away center that barely missed being a home run. Curtin slugged another double in the sixth and came around to score the final run.

Shoreham added two runs in the second and three in the fifth.

Second baseman Kaitlynn McGivney reached base on five occasions, scoring three times behind three walks, a hit and a fielder’s choice. She also stole two bases. Third baseman Lindsey McKenna added two hits and two runs batted in.

After a bit of a bumpy start in which lead-off hitter Annabel Adames walked, stole two bases and scored on an error in the first inning, Coman settled down to hold the Knights to four hits. She retired the next eight hitters before Lauren Coppola led off the fourth with a single and eventually scored. Coman also struck out the side in the fifth.

Photo caption: Shoreham-Wading River second baseman Katlynn McGivney fields a ground ball. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)