With all its collegians in tow, Groundworks Landscaping swept the Police Benevolent Association in the East Hampton Town women’s slow-pitch softball league’s playoff final by scores of 7-1 (on July 29) and 12-3 on Aug. 5.
Groundworks was the playoff champion in 2012, but had to forfeit the final to Provisions last year because its half-dozen college students returned to school that week.
This year, there were four teams rather than five, and thus the season started later and ended earlier — bad news for Provisions, which Groundworks defeated 7-3 in the third and deciding game of their playoff semifinal.
The final was pretty much all Groundworks, behind the canny pitching of Connie Mabry, who’s pushing 60, and the fielding and hitting of her teammates.
In what proved to be the deciding game, Groundworks jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks largely to five P.B.A. errors.
The P.B.A. had runners at the corners and one out in bottom half, but Megan Pintauro, the pitcher, grounded into an inning-ending double play that saw the ball go from the shortstop, Kathryn Hess, to Erin Abran, and from Abran to the veteran first baseman, Kim Hren.
The champs-to-be made it 9-0 in the second. Emma Beudert drew a walk to lead it off. Erica Silich then singled up the middle. Hess, who catches for the University of Dayton (and who was that team’s most improved player this past season), popped up behind third to Tee Schirrippa, the shortstop, after which Hren drew a walk to load the bases for Abran.
Abran drove the ball to the center fielder, but it was dropped as Beudert and Silich scampered home. A subsequent force play at second accounted for Groundworks’ ninth run before Dana Dragone grounded out pitcher-to-first.
After one out in the top of the third, Michelle Grant and Mabry hit back-to-back singles. Beudert popped out to the pitcher, but Silich came through with a two-out r.b.i. single scoring Grant before Hess lined out hard to left.
Mabry continued to shut the opposition out in the bottom of the third, ending the inning with a strikeout, and Groundworks continued to pile it on in the top of the fourth, on run-scoring singles by Robyn Mott and Dragone, which upped the Landscapers’ lead to 12-0.
The P.B.A. scored a run in its fourth and two in the fifth. Mabry arrested the P.B.A.’s progress in the sixth and seventh, capping the big win with two strikeouts and a groundout to Hren at first.
Hess said she’d be returning to college today. Presumably, it’s pretty much the same with the other college students — Silich, Emma Shilowich, Meredith Janis, and Dragone.