Softball Survived

‘Still throwing to the wrong base, et cetera’
Casey Waleko’s back began to act up in the third inning of Monday’s game at Westhampton Beach, but she held on for the win. Craig Macnaughton

   In making a circuit of East Hampton High School’s fields Monday afternoon, this writer found Michelle Kennedy, the boys tennis coach, and the track coaches Shani Cuesta and Chris Reich in good moods, as was Will Collins, who assists Ed Bahns with the baseball team. But in Collins’s case, he was trying to keep hope alive, given the fact that the team remained winless as of Monday.
    One game was played at the high school that day, in boys lacrosse. Mike Vitulli and his assistant, Steve Redlus, had thought going in that the contest would be competitive, but it quickly became obvious that Westhampton, with its dominant face-off play and with its midfielders whipping shoulder-high shots into the nets from about 12 to 15 yards out, was the stronger team.
    The Hurricanes led 6-0 at the end of the first quarter and never looked back on the way to a 14-2 rout. Drew Harvey, one of three or four starters from Pierson High School, scored East Hampton’s goals.
     Playing at Westhampton Beach that day, Bonac’s softball team came away with a 10-8 win as Casey Waleko, the winning pitcher, who’s been bothered by what’s believed to be a pinched nerve in her back, struggled from the third inning on.
    Lou Reale, the coach, said Tuesday morning that he wasn’t sure how his ace would fare health-wise. Courtney Dess, the senior second baseman, is ready to step in if Waleko needs rest.
    At any rate, the win improved East Hampton to 2-1 league play — it led the league as of Monday — and evened its overall record at 2-2.
    “We didn’t play all that well in Florida,” Reale said when asked about the team’s recent spring training trip to Disney World in Orlando. “We’re still throwing to the wrong base and making mental mistakes. . . .”
    On the other hand, the hitting isn’t all that bad. At least it wasn’t on Monday.
    The Bonackers put up three runs in the top of the third inning. “Ali [Harned] tripled, Casey doubled, and Ellie [Cassel] hit a shot,” Reale said in recounting the action.
    “In the bottom of the fourth, Casey’s back began bothering her. She walked three in a row and hit the fourth. Then there were two doubles, a single, and . . . one, two, three, four, five runs. That put them up 5-3.”
    “In the top of the fifth, Paloma Bahi doubled, Ali reached on an error by their third baseman, and Ellie hit another shot — a three-run homer that put us up 6-5.”
    “Luckily, we scored four runs in the top of the seventh. Courtney tripled to lead off, Ali drove her in with a double, and Casey singled. . . . They intentionally walked Ellie, but Emma Norris, a ninth grader, came through with a pinch-hit double down the third baseline.”
    “They hit three doubles in a row in the bottom of the seventh to make it 10-8. Then there was a popup to Courtney at second and two groundouts to Ali, at short, and that was it.”
    The softball team was to have played Sayville, the defending Class A state champion, here yesterday, and is to play at Elwood-John Glenn today.