Maybe it was because it’s Sunday, normally a day of rest, but in this case it’s a rare Sunday game day, for a playoff game, at that. Perhaps it was just a biorhythm thing.
Whatever it was, the Shoreham-Wading River High School softball team wasn’t its usual self. That’s the way it goes sometimes. Sometimes it’s just not a team’s day, and Sunday wasn’t Shoreham’s day. It belonged, instead, to the visitors from Sayville.
Lyndsey Shaw homered twice and Maddie Recker turned in a steady pitching performance as fifth-seeded Sayville ousted No. 2 Shoreham from the Suffolk County Class A Tournament, 7-1.
“Confidence was [the] number one thing we were lacking today,” Shoreham catcher Melissa Marchese said. “Also, I feel like we didn’t want it as much as Sayville wanted it.”
Sayville (15-6) was coming off a 5-2 loss to No. 1 Mount Sinai (20-0) on Saturday that dropped it into Sunday’s elimination game. That surely seemed to affect Sayville’s mind-set.
“We’ve had a lot of success in the program and we always talk about honoring the jersey,” Sayville coach Mike Guercio said. “They don’t want to let the tradition down, so we don’t want to go down without a fight. The girls were focused and ready and things went right for us today.”
Shaw did her part. “We learned from that loss,” the junior catcher said. “We took all that anger into our game today.”
Shaw’s anger materialized in the form of a pair of solo homers beyond centerfield, giving her six for the year.
“She can hit bombs any time she wants,” Guercio said. “She’s got so much power, it’s no joke.”
League IX champion Shoreham (17-4) also had to contend with Recker’s pitching. The sophomore lefthander allowed seven hits, walking one with four strikeouts. She was supported by an errorless defense and an offense that generated 15 hits.
Ally Bricker went 3-for-3 with two RBIs (one coming from a double), a walk and a stolen base. Julia Kaczmarek had a good day, too, going 3-for-4, with a run and a stolen base.
Sayville plated a run in each of the first three innings before rallying for three runs in the fifth for a 6-1 lead. Those runs came on Shaw’s second homer and RBI infield singles by Maria Buffardi and Izzy Colombo (2-for-4, two RBIs).
Shoreham, meanwhile, didn’t look sharp, making three errors.
“They didn’t play like Shoreham usually plays,” said Bill King, who capped his first season as Shoreham’s coach.
Shoreham shortstop Joy Papagianopoulos said: “I think our hitting was really off today. I think our defense could have been better.”
Shoreham’s sole run came in the fourth, when it produced four hits, including an RBI single that Lindsey McKenna poked to rightfield.
Olivia Baudo, who went 2-for-3, was the only Shoreham player with more than one hit.
Sayville’s next game will be Tuesday against No. 7 Comsewogue or No. 8 Rocky Point.
Shoreham looks to be in good shape for next year, with seven starters expected to return. The team graduates four seniors: Bailey Rand, Michaela Hammer, Hannah Longboat and McKenna.
As disappointing as the team’s exit may be, Shoreham’s season has to be considered a success.
“I think we did a great job,” Marchese said. “It’s not a failed season. It’s not a wasted season. We went 17 and 4, whatever it was. We did great the whole year and I think at the end we just ran out of gas.”