With two of its collegiate contributors absent, having gone back for the fall semester, Groundworks Landscaping nevertheless swept perennial-champion Bostwick’s last week to win the East Hampton Town women’s slow-pitch league’s playoff championship.
Bostwick’s (nee Cangiolosi’s) was looking for an unprecedented seventh straight trophy, but Groundworks dug deep for the win, its first ever in slow-pitch play.
Groundworks, whose manager, Andy Silich, was absent also inasmuch as he was driving his daughter, Erika, to High Point University in North Carolina, took a 2-1 lead in the first inning of what proved to be the deciding game, played at the Terry King ball field on Aug. 14. An opposite-field double by Kim Hren accounted for Groundworks’ runs.
The Restaurateurs evened the score in the top of the second. Connie Mabry, the Landscapers’ pitcher, walked the first batter to face her, Bostwick’s pitcher Eileen Noonan, after which Jen Spellman, the eighth hitter in the lineup, bounced a single over the first base bag, sending Noonan to third.
A subsequent slow roller hit by Emma Woodward got by Mabry, allowing Noonan to cross the plate, and Kathryn Hess, about whom more later, missed tagging Spellman as she came into second.
Following a flyout to Erin Abran in left field, Jenna Kovar drew a walk to load the bases for Mireille Sturmann, but Mabry came up big this time, spearing Sturmann’s hot line drive at her shoe tops. She then caused Kathy Amicucci to fly out to Hren in center to end the inning.
In Bostwick’s third, after Virginia McGovern had grounded out short-to-first, Jeannie Bunce laced a double into the left-center field gap. She was stranded there, however, as Emma Beudert, following much to and fro, caught Kenzie Maloney’s fly in left-center and Hess gathered in a popup hit toward short by Sami Krantz.
Groundworks went up 4-2 in the bottom of the third. Abran ripped a single up the middle to lead it off. An infield grounder by Hess forced Abran, but Krantz’s high, wide relay to Spellman allowed the speedy Hess to advance to second. A single by Hren sent Hess to go to third, and a subsequent sinking line drive by Randi Cherill that McGovern one-hopped in shallow left-center made it 3-2. One out later, Michelle Grant’s single to third tacked on another run.
Bostwick’s again tied the score in the top of the fourth, the result of two-out, two-on basehits by Kovar and Sturmann. Woodward was thrown out at the plate as she tried to score from second on Sturmann’s hit.
Hess, who was to have left for the University of Dayton Friday — where she’ll play varsity softball — won the game and the series for Groundworks with a two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth that scored Kelly Remkus and Beudert ahead of her and treated the Landscapers to what proved to be an insurmountable 7-4 lead.
Meanwhile, Mabry plowed ahead, shutting Bostwick’s down in each of the last three innings. Noonan flied out to Hren with the bases loaded and two out in the top of the fifth; Sturmann grounded into a force play at second with runners at first and second and two out in the sixth, and Mabry induced Maloney to fly out with two gone and a runner on first in the seventh.