In its two most recent games in League VIII, the Pierson softball team made things a little more interesting than head coach Jill Stellato would have liked, but still got the job done at Center Moriches, winning 7-1 in extra innings on May 5 before coming home to beat Mercy 3-0 on May 7.
The Lady Whalers are now 10-4 in league play, second only to Hampton Bays and are on the cusp of earning the top seed in the county Class C playoffs, which will begin next week at a time to be determined. Pierson will face Port Jefferson for the county crown, as the Lady Royals are the only other Class C qualifier in Suffolk County. The teams split their games in the regular season, with the Lady Whalers winning the most recent matchup 10-6 at home on May 2.
Although the teams split, Pierson beat both Bayport/Blue Point and Mattituck, while the Lady Royals suffered losses to those teams.
The Lady Whalers are the defending Class C county champs, while Port Jeff won the county title as a Class B school last season.
In the win against Mercy, Pierson got all three of its runs in the sixth inning. Junior Sam Federico got things started with a base hit, and Laura Stafford got on base next after getting hit by a pitch. Federico then stole third base and came home on a passed ball. Stafford scored on a base hit by Sarah Mayer, and the next batter, Meghan Pintauro, got on base with a hit. Mayer scored after Mercy’s shortstop committed an error on a ball hit by Kara Gengarelly.
Stafford allowed just two hits and had eight strikeouts in the win for her team.
Against Center Moriches, Pierson couldn’t get much going on offense until the top of the ninth inning, when it broke out for six runs to take control of the game. A combination of hits and walks gave Pierson its baserunners in the ninth, and four of the runs were scored on base hits while two of them were the result of passed balls.
The Lady Red Devils had taken a 1-0 lead early in the game but Pierson tied it when Nell Kruszynski—who was pinch running for Mayer—came home from third base when Center Moriches made the mistake of trying to catch Pintauro stealing second rather than watching home.
Stafford retired the side in the bottom of the ninth, as the first batter grounded out to her, the second batter struck out and the third batter hit a line drive back to Stafford, which she caught to end the game.
Pierson was scheduled to host Southold/Greenport on Tuesday and finished the regular season at first-place Hampton Bays on Wednesday.
The Southampton softball team lost two games last week, falling 7-1 at Mattituck on Saturday after suffering a 1-0 heartbreaker to Bayport/Blue Point at home on Thursday. In the loss to Bayport/Blue Point, Hailey Tucker scored the only run in the third inning. The Lady Mariners had a play at the plate, but Tucker was called safe. Kirsten Smith pitched well for Southampton in the loss, allowing the one run on seven hits.
The Lady Mariners were scheduled to host Babylon on Tuesday and closed out the regular season at Elwood/John Glenn on Wednesday.