Winning Streak Ends, But Colts Still on Top

DIX HILLS, New York, April 24

BY: Andrew Wroblewski

The Colts’ winning streak came to a halt on Saturday as the varsity softball team suffered its first loss of the season.

Half Hollow Hills West (9-1) lost in a complete game two-hitter pitched by Marissa Rizzi of Eastport-South Manor (9-2). The Colts, who roster just two upperclassman this season, couldn’t get things going against the Sharks despite constantly putting the ball into play and fell 3-0.

“We hit at least 10, what I like to call, ‘atom’ balls, which are balls that you hit hard but just find their way straight to a defensive player,” said Bill Mitaritonna, head coach for Hills West. “It was just a perfect storm.”

The Sharks offense was led by the Rizzi family, as Marissa, and her twin sister Christina, played a part in all three of Eastport’s runs. Marissa finished the day 2-for-4, while Christina went 1-for-3.

For Hills West, senior pitcher Francesca Casalino suffered her first loss of the season, dropping her record to 8-1. However, according to Mitaritonna, none of Eastport’s runs were earned.

Saturday’s game followed a lights-out performance by Casalino last week against Deer Park where she pitched a complete game, no hitter, striking out 10 and walking just 2. In the game, Casalino recorded her 500th career strikeout, which, according to Mitaritonna, is the equivalent of a high school basketball player scoring 1000 career points.

“She’s the glue of this team,” Mitaritonna said of Casalino. “She’s gone above and beyond what we’ve expected of her and she’s been keeping us in games.”

The Cults had no time to sulk, though, as they were to again take the field at home on Tuesday to make up a game against Hauppauge (9-1), which is tied atop of League III with Hills West for first place. After that, the Colts faced bottom-of-the-league Comsewogue (0-10) on Wednesday at home. Both games occurred after press time.

“It all starts with a great practice today,” said Mitaritonna on Monday. “That’s the key.”

The Colts’ next home game is Monday at 4 p.m. against East Islip.

Originally published: The Long Islander:Half Hollow Hills (Thursday, April 24, 2014;  pg. A19)

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