Lady Sharks Ready For Playoff Run


History appears to be repeating itself for the Eastport South Manor and Islip softball teams as the League V season comes to a close.

If all plays out as it should on paper, the game between Islip and ESM on May 15 would have decided the league championship, with the Lady Sharks sitting at 13-2 and Islip at 13-3 as of Monday morning. Heading into the final week, ESM had four opponents remaining—Bellport (4-12), Kings Park (9-7) and Huntington (9-7)—while Islip’s two remaining games were against Huntington (9-7) and Comsewogue (1-15).

In the first regular season meeting between the Lady Bucs and Lady Sharks, ESM won 8-2.

In 2012, the Lady Sharks beat Islip during the final week of the season to secure a share of the league championship. Both teams finished 16-3.

“The girls are very excited for the game against Islip,” ESM head coach Laura Ward said. “It’s the same situation we were in last year and it should be a good game.”

Upon the conclusion of the regular season, both teams will enter the Class A playoffs, which are scheduled to get under way on May 21. Last season, the Lady Sharks were in Class AA, playing with the county’s largest schools, and lasted two rounds in the conclusion of a season that was supposed to be a rebuilding year.

“The girls have gotten a lot more confident with their abilities,” Ward said. “They are a young team but most of them played last year for me so even though they are young, they are veterans when it comes to the playoffs. Last year, we were a AA school and they won their first game of the playoffs and then lost to Bay Shore, so they’ve played the best.”

The Lady Sharks moved to 13-2 in league play with a 9-1 win over Harborfields at home on May 7, the team’s only game last week because of bad weather.

Harborfields scored its only run, which was unearned, in the first inning, and after the bumpy start for ESM, the Lady Tornadoes were sat down in order through the next six innings.

ESM scored what turned out to be the only runs it needed in the third on back-to-back triples. Jackie Chester walked and then scored on a Marissa Rizzi triple. Rizzi came home on a Hope Brenkert three-base hit.

The Lady Sharks piled on five more in the bottom of the fourth with good old-fashioned small ball. The team strung together singles to build a 7-1 advantage and then added two more in the fifth for a final score of 9-1.

Dana Taglioni and Nina Gaita each went 2 for 3.

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