The Pierson softball team wrapped up the regular season last week by winning two of its last three games to finish with a 13-5 mark in League V, good enough for fourth place behind Center Moriches (17-1), and Babylon and Hampton Bays (both 15-3).
The Lady Whalers, who handed Hampton Bays one of their three losses during the regular season, nearly took the Lady Baymen down again at home on Thursday, taking a 5-0 first inning lead before falling 11-7 in extra innings. Before that, Pierson beat Southampton (4-14), 6-1 at home on Tuesday, May 6, and crushed winless Stony Brook (0-18) 20-1 at home a day earlier.
Against Hampton Bays, the Lady Whalers looked like they were on their way to a dominant win early on, but the Lady Baymen fought back, eventually taking a 6-5 lead in the fourth inning after back-to-back doubles off the bats of Rebecca Harris and pitcher Marley Tyler. Pierson tied it again at 6-6 in the next inning, and the score stayed knotted there until the top of the 11th. At that point, the international tiebreaker rule—which puts a runner on second base to start an inning after nine innings have been played—was in effect. With runners on second and third, Lady Bayman Laura Zaweski hit a bases-clearing double to right center field, putting Hampton Bays up 8-6, before Harris launched a two-run homer to make it 10-6. Later in the inning, Marley Tyler doubled, then Heather O’Connor drove in Autumn Tlockowski—running for Tyler—to make it 11-6.
Pierson brought home a run in the bottom half of the 11th on a sacrifice fly, but Meghan Harris made the final out at third base to close out the game for Hampton Bays.
Pierson head coach Melissa Edwards wasn’t surprised that the Lady Baymen made a comeback, and said that while her team played well at points in the game, it also made some costly mistakes.
“They are a quality team and fought back,” she said. “We made some critical base running errors and left a few on base. There were some great defensive double plays on both sides of the ball, and it was an overall great game. It was another one of those games that we just let slip away.”
Additional statistics for the Lady Whalers for their games last week were not available at press time.
Edwards said on Tuesday morning that she was unsure of when her team’s first playoff game would be. Pierson was the only Class C team in Suffolk County to officially qualify for the playoffs, as Stony Brook and Southold/Greeport, the other Class C squads, both finished well below .500 in league play, where teams must have at least an even record to get into the postseason. Because League V is comprised of mostly Class B teams, there is a chance that Section XI would allow Southold (5-13) into the playoffs, although Pierson beat the Lady Clippers convincingly both times they played them in the regular season.
If Pierson has to play Southold for the county title, the playoffs—which follow a double-elimination format, meaning a team has to lose twice before it is eliminated—would likely start on Tuesday, May 20. If Pierson is named the automatic county champ, it will start the playoffs in the regional final on June 7 against the winner of the Section I vs. Section IX game at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue at 5 p.m.