Hills West Survives Scare, Holds On In Extra Innings

HALF HOLLOW HILLS, New York, May 21

BY: Andrew Wroblewski

The defending champs have advanced.

Half Hollow Hills High School West’s softball team – defending Suffolk champions – held on in extra innings on Friday to come away with a 6-5 win over no. 18 Riverhead (11-10) in the 2015 Suffolk Class AA playoffs.

Nicole Graber was one of two Colts to score in the bottom of the eighth inning on Friday as Hills West walked off in extra innings to defeat Riverhead in a 2015 Class AA outbracket game.
Nicole Graber was one of two Colts to score in the bottom of the eighth inning on Friday as Hills West walked off in extra innings to defeat Riverhead in a 2015 Class AA outbracket game.

Alyse McAlpine was the hero this time as the junior stepped up to the plate with two outs in the eighth inning and smacked a two-run double to walk her team off in style and advance no. 15 Hills West (10-9) to a first-round game at no. 2 Commack (17-3), to be played after press time on Monday.

On Friday, however, it appeared as if the Colts’ season would come to a quicker end than it did last year as Hills West trailed the Blue Waves 5-4 in the outbracket game as the bottom of the eighth inning rolled around.

Riverhead was even able to record 2 outs and keep the bases empty as Nicole Graber stepped to the plate as Hills West’s last hope; she singled. Next up was Alex Parkas; the sophomore also singled and, just like that, the Colts were in business.

McAlpine then delivered the knockout blow as she drove in both Graber and Parkas with a double that shocked the visiting Blue Waves and eliminated them from the playoffs.

For her efforts on the mound, Alexis Kleet – the Colts’ workhorse through the entirety of the season – was awarded her first playoff win.

Along with McApline, Hills West’s offense was powered by Gabrielle Casalino; the junior drove in 2 runs over the course of her 3-for-4 campaign from the plate.

The Colts were then on the road to face the Cougars on Monday after press time. Should they have won that game, Hills West would have advanced to a Wednesday afternoon game where it would have faced the winner of no. 7 Sachem East (15-5) and no. 10 Hauppauge (12-6).

If they were, once again, successful, the Colts will now enter the double-elimination semifinal round on Friday at 4 p.m.; that game will be played at whichever school the Colts are facing.

In order to keep up with the latest bracket, visit http://www.sectionxi.org.

Originally published: Long Islander News: Half Hollow Hills
(Thursday, May 21, 2015;  A23)

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