While April showers have postponed a few games and the spring break disrupted practice schedules, the Shelter Island softball team is back on the field and looking forward to the second half of the season.
The team is playing in a very competitive varsity league. Despite some lopsided scores, Coach Jackie Brewer feels that overall the team is improving. She broke out the pitching machine on Monday, April 24 giving the batters a chance to practice against high velocity balls.
“Hitting a live pitcher is difficult,” she said. “You need lots of practice to get confident.”
That being said, the team has begun to score more runs recently. The Islanders scored 4 against Mattituck on April 18, and 5 against the Pierson/Bridgehampton team on April 24.
Mid-season often comes with its challenges. Some players hit a slump before rebounding in the final weeks. Injuries have also impacted the team. Senior Melissa Frasco has a fractured nose after she was hit by a ball during the Mattituck game. Amira Lawrence, who normally chases down fly balls in center field, was out with a sore wrist during the Pierson game.
Luckily, players have taken turns stepping up to inspire the team. On April 20, hard-hitting Center Moriches came to town.
Fiery Lily Garrison tracked a Red Devils foul ball, nearly impaling herself on the dugout fence in an all-out effort to snag the final out to get out of a rough first inning.
Domily Gil did even better in the second inning. Scorekeeper Jennifer Lupo gleefully recorded the run as Gil attacked a high velocity Red Devils pitch. Using her speed to race around the bases, she was greeted by her teammates at home plate as she scored an inside the park home run.
Pitchers Sarah Lewis and Lauren Gurney showed they can be team leaders on both offense and defense, each hitting well in the Whalers game.
Bianca Evangelista was in constant motion as their catcher — blocking errant balls and keeping runners honest with her quick release and strong arm.
With players ranging from 7th graders to seniors, the team’s skill level is varied, but all players are getting time on the field.
Veterans Julia Labrozzi and Phoebe Starzee are starters at second base and shortstop.
Speedy 7th grader Isabella Fonseca was the courtesy runner for Evangelista during the April 20 Center Moriches game.
Maria Carbajal shared right field duties with Emily Strauss, and Audrey Wood and Bella Springer each were in left field during the Whalers game.
Audrey even had the chance to cross home plate to score her first run of the season in the Whalers game.
With only two-and-a-half weeks left in the schedule, the season will be over before you know it.
Get outside, enjoy the warming weather and newly leafing trees while cheering on the girls. Remaining home games are May 1 (Southold/Greenport), May 2 (Port Jeff) and the senior game against Pierson/Bridgehampton on Friday, May 5.