Wildcats Lose Battle for Second-Place Slot

HUNTINGTON STATION, New York, April 24

BY: Andrew Wroblewski

In a battle for second place of Suffolk County’s League II softball, Walt Whitman (8-4) fell 7-0 to North Babylon (8-2) on Tuesday at Central Field in Huntington Station. With the loss, Whitman drops to a tie for fourth place in the division while North Babylon moves into second place based on winning percentage.

Linda Powell of Walt Whitman, prepares to deliver a pitch in Tuesday's game against North Babylon.
Linda Powell of Walt Whitman, prepares to deliver a pitch in Tuesday’s game against North Babylon.

“It’s always a good game when North Babylon plays Whitman,” said Melyssa Cilmi, head coach of Whitman. “But we just didn’t hit well at all today.”

The Wildcats had just two hits in the game — singles by sophomore Val Abbene and junior Kathryn Marchesiello — both coming in the fifth inning. Whitman’s struggle at the plat may be credited to North Babylon’s Theresa Cardello who pitched a complete-game shutout white striking out 8 and walking just 1.

“[Cardello] was a stud; she’s a captain and a leader of our team,” said North Babylon’s head coach, John Egan, after the game. “I saw a team possessed; a team that’s ready to win.”

For Whitman, junior Linda Powell pitched 7 innings, giving up 7 runs — 4 of them earned — while striking out 6 and walking 1.

North Babylon opened the scoring in the fourth inning after a Whitman error and a walk surrendered by Powell gave the Bulldogs runners on first and second. Junior Alexis Rutha doubled to bring both runners home and to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage. Later on, in the sixth inning, Rutha scorched a ball over the wall in deep center field to bring North Babylon’s lead to 5-0.

“We just have to stay focused,” said Cilmi when asked how the team will handle the loss. “We have eight games left in the season and we have to win at least two to make it to playoffs, so we just have to put this game behind us.”

The loss marks a split in the season-series between Whitman and North Babylon, with Whitman claiming the first game in the series earlier this month 7-3. Cilmi and the Wildcats looked to bounce back on Wednesday when they took on Newfield (6-6) at Central Field; the game concluded after press time. Whitman took the first game of the season against Newfield 3-0 back in March.

Walt Whitman sophomore catcher Skyler Zenie connects with a ball against North Babylon on Tuesday.
Walt Whitman sophomore catcher Skyler Zenie connects with a ball against North Babylon on Tuesday.

Originally published: The Long Islander (Thursday, April 24, 2014;  pg. A31)

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