Girls softball suffers second straight first round playoff exit

Ben Landau, Contributing Writer

The varsity softball team has seen steady improvement for the past couple seasons.   Last year, the team had its best season in recent years with an in-conference record of 13-0.

The undefeated regular season last year allowed the team to move up divisions for this season.  However, they were knocked out of the postseason by  the Carey Seahawks in the first round, losing by a score of  5-0.

Despite having even more intense competition in their new division, Conference AA-III, the team finished 11-2, second in the conference behind only Plainview JFK.

According to Coach Mr. Eric Sutz, the girls have achieved two of their goals for this season, which were to make the playoffs and attain at least ten conference game wins.

He attributes this mainly to the team’s commitment and skill on the field in games as well as practices.

From the beginning of this season, Coach Sutz has made his goals clear to his team.

“I share my goals with the team, and they have open and honest communication about what is expected both of the team and of each player,”  said Coach Sutz.

Unfortunately, the Lady Vikings saw an end similar to that of last season, losing in the first round of the postseason to the Massapequa Chiefs by a score of 12 runs to none on May 9.

This loss resulted in the team’s second season in a row that concluded with an exit in the first round of this year’s playoffs.

Opposing shortstop Rachel Sieber led the Chiefs, going 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs. Catcher Darby Pandolfo and third baseman Emily Gaeta also contributed to the balanced effort by each hitting a home run.

Even though the team was eliminated from the playoffs earlier than they would have liked, their performance in the regular season still stands.

“We have worked so hard to get where we are and I believed we had a chance to go far,” said senior captain and All-County pitcher Alex Caprariello.

One of the main factors contributing to the regular season success was the leadership of Caprariello, the team’s sole captain.  Her leadership both on and off the field proved helpful throughout the season for the team including many underclassmen.

“Keeping the girls on task is about setting a purpose each and every practice and having internal leadership.  They set a tone that we are going to have fun but work each and every day.” said Coach Sutz.

The team also has their share of traditions, like engaging in a team cheer led by the senior team members around home plate.

“It’s a tradition that always gets us fired up, and it’s a great feeling to lead my team in it,” said Caprariello.

Looking forward, the team hopes that they will continue their regular season success and make a deeper playoff run than those of recent history.

“I always try to keep everything positive,” said Caprariello.  “If we continue to work hard, it will pay off and we will reach the goals.”