As I’m getting ready to leave Auburn; I had a night to really sit and reflect on what Pearl River did and now that I’m home, here are my thoughts.
Overall, they really did play two perfect games.
Let me start with the semifinal game: Pearl River 2, Floral Park 0
When the final out was recorded at Minisink Valley High School on Thursday, this was truly the match-up that everyone was waiting for. A rematch with the defending champion Floral Park from Section 8. Right before the start of the game yesterday, as they always do before every game, Marianna Feger, Katie Meyers and another member of the team called it “A Battle Royale” and they were right on the money.
This game was eerily like the game a year ago. And Floral Park was the visitor while Pearl River was away. If you really sit analyze the game; there are some similarities. It was the same pitching match-up; many of the same personnel and if you get down to it; the game played out in similar fashion.
Both Katie O’Flynn and Sam Giovanniello matched each other zero for zero. The game came down to the bottom of the sixth inning. In the top of the frame, Katie O’Flynn got into a bit of trouble but the difference between a year ago and now was that she made the pitch when she needed to and the defense helped to make the play. In the bottom of the inning, with two outs; the table setters and resident gnats Gemma Mahoney and Kristyn Neroda set the stage for Jamie Degennaro to drive them in on a beauty of a liner to left center field.
These girls saw what happened to their Rockland counterparts in North Rockland and knew that the game wasn’t over until that last out was recorded.
Katie O’Flynn was as gutsy as ever. She finished the game pitching a three-hitter allowing two walks and struck out eight. But to make this a little freaky, Floral Park pitcher Sam Giovanniellp (outside of the two runs) pitched a two-hitter allowing two walks and struck out 11. (last year: a one hitter allowing two walks and struck out 12)
Now to that final game. Pearl River 7, Pittsford Mendon 0
I watched a little of the Pittsford Mendon’s first game with South Glens Falls and I liked what I saw out of their pitcher Brittany Grage but honestly; in the final, I don’t think they knew what hit them when facing the Pirates. Especially when it came to Mahoney and Neroda. In the entire game, the two of them drew a combined 39 pitches. If you were there, Grage was clearly getting tired because they fouled off pitches left and right.
Bottom line is that in this game, they really did learn from what happened to North Rockland. They got the 1-0 early on an RBI single by O’Flynn. But it was that second inning that really broke the game open. After scoring on walks and taking advantage of misplays by the Viking defense, Degennaro capped it off with another 2-run single.
What the Pirates did in this state final four is played two perfect games and it came at the right time. Up and down this line-up; the entire team contributed to bringing home the school’s first state softball championship as well as the first for Rockland County.
Congratulations again to head coach Mike Carlacci and the Pirates.