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Softball: Cahill’s career-high 14 Ks, Halloran’s RBI triple lift SWR to playoff win

This battery gave Shoreham-Wading River a charge.

They’re not only battery mates and teammates, they also happen to be sisters. Erin Cahill, the pitcher, and Lindsay Cahill, the catcher. One would imagine the two SWR players would be throwing softballs to each other all the time at home.

Not so.

“As weird as it sounds, we live in the same household and you would think that we would like practice together all the time, but we really don’t,” Lindsay said. “We have completely different schedules when it comes to summer ball, and this is really the only time, like the first time we caught each other consistently. The last time I caught for her consistently was back when I was in seventh grade.”

A big part of the explanation is the age difference. Lindsay is a junior and Erin is a freshman.

They do, however, share that sister telepathy that can come in handy during games. That may have contributed to Erin’s career-high 14 strikeouts Friday. Erin’s pitching and Lauren Halloran’s go-ahead, run-scoring triple in the sixth inning led host and seventh-seeded SWR to a 3-1 triumph in a Suffolk County Class A outbracket game against No. 10 East Hampton. The Wildcats (9-4) earned a quarterfinal meeting Saturday at No. 2 Miller Place (12-0), the League VI champion.

With the score tied at 1-1, Erin Cahill socked Caroline Disunno’s first offering of the bottom of the sixth for a lined single to centerfield. That’s when Halloran’s moment arrived. The junior shortstop lashed a triple past sliding centerfielder Katie Kuneth to put SWR ahead.

Lauren Halloran scores what proved to be the winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

“It was a 3-and-1 count, and I knew she was going to come at me with a strike, and I knew I had to attack the pitch,” said the low-key Halloran.

One out later, Halloran scored on Emma Donnelly’s sacrifice fly for an insurance run.

Speaking of Halloran’s triple, Erin Cahill said: “You know it’s a shot when I score from first because I’m not the fastest runner, but it was an awesome shot and I’m so happy for her. She’s a very good clutch hitter © She always comes [through] for us. She’s always there when we need her.”

Erin Cahill strikeouts accounted for all three East Hampton outs in the second, fifth and sixth innings. Four of her Ks came on called third strikes. The righthander allowed five hits and one walk over seven innings.

“She looked very good in warmups,” Lindsay Cahill said of her sister. “Usually when she has a good warmup, it usually translates into either a really, really bad game or a really, really good game.”

No question, this was the really, really good version.

Why was Erin Cahill so effective?

Second baseman Emma Donnelly throws to first for the out on a ground ball. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

“I just knew I had to go out and attack,” she said. “This was a big game. It was winner take all. I knew I had to come out for my team, and that’s what I did.”

Lindsay Cahill called it her sister’s best outing for SWR. “She was hitting spots like 95 percent of the time,” the catcher said. “Her pitches were accurate. The girls couldn’t catch up to her.”

East Hampton (6-7) registered its sole run in the fourth, which began with Maddie Brown’s slow-rolling infield single and a fielding error that allowed Cami Hatch to reach base. Shortly after, Ella Grenci lofted an RBI hit that dropped just over third baseman Elizabeth Sabino and inside the leftfield line.

Halloran had given SWR a 1-0 lead in the second. After being hit by a pitch, she stole second base, and scored on an error.

The playoff win was a positive step for a young SWR side with a starting lineup that included two eighth-graders (centerfielder Katelyn Lahey and second baseman Donnelly), two freshmen (Sabino and Erin Cahill) and two sophomores (first baseman Kelsey Hughes and rightfielder Anna McGivney). Reserve player Isabella Aspesi and leftfielder Tesia Roth are the team’s only seniors.

When Erin Cahill is in the pitching circle and looking toward the batter’s box, she’s not just looking at a catcher; she’s looking at family. So, what is it like pitching to your sister?

“I love playing with my sister,” Erin Cahill said. “I have the biggest support system behind the plate.”

“She’s my best friend,” she continued, “and having my best friend behind the plate is absolutely amazing to me and I’m going to be really sad when she graduates.”