It was a week of varying emotions for the Eastport South Manor softball team. The high point for the Lady Sharks came on April 24 with their 10th win of the season, a 9-5 victory at Sayville, a win that secured a spot in the Suffolk County Class A postseason. The low point came two days later in the form of a 7-6 extra-innings heartbreaker with Rocky Point, the first loss for the League V leaders this season.
“The attitude of the team is very positive; they talked each other through the loss,” ESM coach Laura Ward said. “The older players really found a lot of positives they could take from that game and how they can use it. I really feel good about the season so far.
She continued, “I’m not thinking one loss is going to slow them down. They’ll use it. They’ll build on it. Now they know what it’s like to play under pressure and how to handle it.”
Rocky Point wasted no time putting runs on the board, stringing together a handful of singles for a 2-0 lead after just half an inning. The lead was short-lived as ESM came back in the bottom of the second with a pair of runs. Jackie Chester led off with a single and Kailah Konkel beat out a short dribbler for an infield single. ESM loaded the bases when Marissa Rizzi’s fielder’s choice was misplayed and then two batters later, Hope Brenkert brought in Chester and Konkel with a double to right center.
ESM took the lead for the first time the following inning with a two-out RBI triple from Konkel and tacked on two more on a Nina Gaita triple in the bottom of the fourth that scored Brenkert, who tripled, and Daniella Detore, who walked. The Lady Sharks scored what turned out to be their final run of the game in the fifth inning for a 6-3 lead.
In what should have been their final plate appearance of the day, the Lady Eagles combined walks and base hits for three runs and ESM failed to score in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings.
Rocky Point’s Kelly Fitzpatrick snapped the tie in the top of the ninth with a sac fly to secure the win for her team, the squad’s eighth in League VI play.
“They are a great team with a great pitcher [Annie Kennedy],” Ward said. “They put the pressure on us and we couldn’t get it done. We had some chances in the eighth and ninth innings but just couldn’t score any runs.”
Two days prior, the Lady Sharks secured their spot in the postseason with a four-run victory over the only other previously undefeated team among Class A schools, defending state champion Sayville.
After two and a half, ESM grabbed a 6-0 advantage, thanks to a three-run home run off the bat of Brenkert.
The Lady Golden Flashes struck back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the third but the Lady Sharks got one back on a Konkel single that plated Rizzi to go up 7-3. Sayville scored once in the bottom of the fifth inning, however, on their next trip to the plate, the Lady Sharks did one better, scoring two runs on a single from Konkel. The home team scored once in the seventh inning to bring the final score to 9-5.
“We were ahead the whole game,” Ward said. “They kept pushing but we kept pushing back. It was a good game for us.”
Konkel finished the day 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 4 RBIs. Brenkert had three hits, including the home run, 4 RBIs and a run scored. Chester had two hits, including an RBI triple in the first, and scored two runs.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 5/1, vs. Miller Place, 4 p.m.; Thursday, 5/2, vs. Comsewogue, 4 p.m.; Tuesday, 5/7, vs. Harborfields, 4:30 p.m.