No one has run away with the East Hampton Town women’s slow-pitch softball league’s regular season, and so there is no particular favorite going into the playoffs, which are to begin at the Terry King ball field Tuesday.
Provisions (formerly Bostwick’s, formerly Cangiolosi’s, formerly Hren’s Nursery, formerly Buzz Chew) has the top seed because of its 5-3 record, and because of a veteran core, though at season’s end there were three teams — P.B.A., Groundworks, and Bono Plumbing — that were each at 4-4. Even Grazina Orthodontics, last year’s patsy, can hold its head high, at 3-5.
Bono and Grazina were to have contested a play-in game last Thursday, to see which would be the postseason’s fourth team, but were rained out. That game was rescheduled for this past Tuesday. The first best-of-three playoff series, with the fourth seed versus the first, and the third versus the second, are to begin Tuesday — the four-day Travis Field memorial tournament begins tonight at the Abraham’s Path field.
Groundworks, which boasts a number of college-age players on its roster, including the Hess sisters, Meghan and Kathryn (who plays at the University of Dayton), Marissa Friedes, Meredith Janis, Erica Silich, and Dana Dragone, “mercied” Provisions and Grazina by 10-0 scores this past week to finish at 4-4.
The game with Provisions was rendered even more dramatic when, during it, a hard grounder that had flown up off the high lip of the infield grass struck Provisions’ shortstop, Petrina DeRobertis, in the nose, drawing blood and — as she learned later in Southampton Hospital’s emergency room — breaking it.
The good news for Provisions was that the rebound landed in the awaiting glove of Robin Helgerson at second base, in time for the forceout there.
The mishap led Grazina’s coach, Billy McGintee, to list some of the field’s shortcomings.
“There are 22 lights, and,” he said, looking up, “I can count one . . . two . . . three . . . four . . . five . . . six . . . seven . . . eight of them that are out. The infield is atrocious, there’s at least a four-to-five-inch drop from the grass to the dirt. . . . You can bet if the men were still playing here, this would never have happened.”
Moreover, it was learned later that a hole in the outfield about 15 yards from second base that the men filled in last season has sunk a bit, and thus requires attention.
“I hope we’ll have all these things fixed by the time of the playoffs,” said Lori Schultz, one of Provisions’ veterans. “I’ve told the town recreation department about them. The whole area around third base is affected. Five lights are out there, and there are a couple of others out. They tried replacing those lights around third, but there was a lot of smoke and zapping. . . . Then there’s the pothole. Hopefully we’ll get these things fixed.”
The talent seems pretty well spread around. Jessie Stavola, an all-American pitcher when she was at East Hampton High School, plays left center field for Grazina; Mylan Le, who played in two national world series with Bloomsburg University, and her sisters My Linh and My Hoa, play for Bono Plumbing; T. Schirrippa, who has got an all-female entry together for the Travis Field tournament, plays for P.B.A., and Provisions, as aforesaid, has its veteran core, including Jeannie Bunce, the Schultzes, Lori and Barbara, Virginia McGovern, Kathy Amicucci, Jen Spellman, and Eileen Noonan.
Groundworks is the defending champion, having through last year’s sweep in the final deprived Provisions (then Bostwick’s) of an unprecedented seventh-straight title.
Rich Schneider, who umps women’s games and men’s games in Montauk (Amagansett’s men’s league having folded), said the men’s playoffs in Montauk are to begin Aug. 12.