Bonac Softball Win Among Losses

A come-from-behind 7-6 win at McGann-Mercy in Riverhead on May 1.
Bella Swanson, East Hampton’s shortstop, was late in tagging the Kings Park runner above in the second inning of Saturday’s game here, but, on May 1 versus Mercy in Riverhead, she led off the seventh inning with a home run that won the game. Craig Macnaughton

While its playoff chances seem to be dim — presumably because of recent losses at the hands of Class-A Islip, Southampton, and Kings Park — East Hampton High’s softball team has nevertheless been competitive this season, as it showed in Saturday’s game here with Kings Park, which prevailed 3-1.

As for the Class A playoffs, which are to begin with an outbracket game Monday, the top nine in the power-rated League VII are to go, a list that as of Monday comprised East Islip, Sayville, Mount Sinai, Miller Place, Islip, Hauppauge, Kings Park, Westhampton Beach, and Hampton Bays. East Hampton, whose record was 7-9 as of Monday, is to play East Islip, the once-defeated league leader, here today. It will wind up the regular season here with Mattituck tomorrow, during which the team’s half-dozen seniors are to be feted.

The good news for Kathy Amicucci’s charges this past week was a come-from-behind 7-6 win at McGann-Mercy in Riverhead on May 1. 

“It made me anxious, but the girls worked together, hit the ball, and played well,” Amicucci said. 

East Hampton was trailing 6-3 going into the top of the sixth inning, but a two-out rally capped by Maddie Schenck’s double to the centerfield fence tied the score at 6-6. Mercy didn’t score in its half of the inning, and, in the top of the seventh, Bella Swanson, the shortstop, hit a leadoff home run over the fence in right center, treating the Bonackers to the lead, at 7-6. Mercy made a pitching change then, avoiding any further damage.

“We got out of a tough spot in Mercy’s seventh,” said Amicucci. “They had the bases loaded with two outs, but Katrina [Osterberg, the third baseman], after fielding a grounder hit her way, stepped on third for the final out.”

A 1-0 loss at Southampton on Friday hurt. “We didn’t hit — Sam [Merritt, the pitcher] was the only one, with a double and a single.” 

“She kept mowing us down,” said Rich Swanson, when asked about Samantha Wesnofske, the Mariners’ pitcher, who wound up with 17 strikeouts. “It wasn’t just risers,” said Swanson. “It was curves, fastballs, everything.”

Southampton’s run was unearned, Amicucci added.

The game here with Kings Park was scoreless through the first three innings, but the visitors went ahead 3-0 in the top of the fourth, thanks to a double, a bunt single, and, with two outs and the count 0-2, a two-run double into the gap in right center — a pitch that Merritt undoubtedly would have liked to have had back. A subsequent throwing error by Osterberg enabled Kings Park’s third run to come home. 

Kings Park’s pitcher gave up her first hit, a single up the middle by Schenck, in the bottom half of the inning. Merritt, the next batter, hit a fly toward the right field line that looked as if it might curve out of the right fielder’s reach, but she made a nice one-handed catch, after which Ella Gurney, the first baseman, popped out to the second baseman, stranding Schenck at first.

The visitors had runners at second and third with one out in the top of the fifth, but a fly to center was caught by Rebecca Kuperschmid and Bella Swanson gathered in a pop fly hit her way to take Kings Park out of the inning.

East Hampton loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half of the fifth, but couldn’t come up with a big blow, though one run came home when Kuperschmid drew a full-count walk. That brought up Schenck, with the bases still loaded, and two outs. East Hampton’s catcher worked the count full, but popped up the next offering, a changeup, that the first baseman squeezed.

Gurney, with one out in the sixth, raised Bonac fans’ hopes when she drove a pitch deep to center field, but, with the wind blowing in slightly, the ball was caught. Sophia Ledda then popped out to second on a 3-1 pitch.

The bottom of the seventh proved to be uneventful as Osterberg, facing a 3-2 pitch, was called out on strikes, Raven Biondo struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch, and Sophia Swanson, with the count 1-2, also fanned the breeze.

Kings Park finished with three runs on eight hits, East Hampton with one run on three hits. Kings Park’s pitcher struck out 12 and walked four. Merritt walked two and struck out one. The Bonackers committed two errors, Kings Park none.

Bella Swanson was surrounded by happy teammates after homering in the seventh inning, a blow that earned the Bonackers a 7-6 win at McGann-Mercy High School in Riverhead on May 1. Chris Schenck