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Girls varsity softball team: Never say die

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Phoebe Starzee showing a good eye at the plate in the Shelter Island girls varsity softball team’s game against Center Moriches on March 31.

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Phoebe Starzee showing a good eye at the plate in the Shelter Island girls varsity softball team’s game against Center Moriches on March 31.

Despite the lopsided score of 18-0 for the visiting powerhouse Center Moriches Red Devils on March 31, Shelter Island softball is showing growth in multiple areas.

Eighth grade pitcher Lauren Gurney had her first varsity start and even though she was facing players five years older than herself, she showed poise from the pitching rubber (there is no mound in softball).

In the bottom of the second inning the Blue and Gray had the bases loaded with only one out. The fans, including a chicken, Labrador puppy and a full-grown Great Dane, watched hopefully. Coach Ian Kanarvogel encouraged aggressive base running, but the Red Devils’ strong arms and quick defense were able to get them out of the inning.

The Islanders defense had some great plays for outs. Kelly Colligan coolly snagged a hard hit ball to left field. Shortstop Phoebe Starzee grabbed a powerfully hit line drive, which drew a gasp and appreciative applause from the crowd. Speedy Amira Lawrence made three great catches in center field.

The team is also starting to get the bat on the ball a bit more. High speed varsity level pitching is challenging, but Colligan, Sarah Lewis, Melissa Frasco and Abby Kotula all had multiple foul tips during their at bats, proving that both their bat-eye coordination is progressing.

The bulk of Center Moriches’ scoring came during the third inning as errors and walks combined to allow multiple runs. Yet the Islanders refused to let their spirits get too low. Aggressive batting stances by Kenna McCarthy and Emily Hyatt showed that they there to play and smart base running by Kotula also proved that the Blue and Gray would not go down without a fight.

The team’s next home games are scheduled for April 14 against Port Jefferson and Pierson on April 16.

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