THIELLS — One out away from knocking off Ursuline in its season opener, North Rockland dropped a pop fly in the top of the seventh that set the stage for Koalas junior Angie Rizzi to hit a two-run game-winning home run for a 7-6 final.
Rizzi (right) homered twice in the game and drove in a total of four runs.
Unearned runs were the story for North Rockland, which allowed two runs to score after dropping a fly ball in center field with two outs in the top of the third. Still, despite trailing most of the game, the Red Raiders were resilient on Monday. Junior Amanda Schweitzer, who dropped the ball in center, quickly redeemed herself by smacking a go-ahead single in the bottom of the fourth after Ursuline intentionally walked sophomore Daniela Chiorazzi.
Chiorazzi finished 2 for 3 with an RBI triple in the bottom of the first.
Ursuline was 45 minutes late to the game after getting stuck in traffic on the Hutch, but saw its luck change in the seventh. Aside from the ball dropping to extend the game, the Koalas had their best – and hottest – hitter up at the dish in the biggest spot of the game.
“Angie, for the first two games, was trying to do too much,” Ursuline coach John Pirone said. “Now, we worked on just staying in, on the ball, taking to the right side and everything else just comes.”
My soccer coach used to tell us during shooting drills that there is “no such thing as an ugly goal,” so I asked Pirone if there was any such thing as an “ugly win.” The answer was obvious.
“No way, man!” he said, laughing.
North Rockland coach Jackie DiNuzzo was understandably not as jubilant. Even if the Red Raiders were kicking off some rust in their first game of the season, being so close to an Opening Day win still stung.
“We basically gave them the game,” she said. “We pitched to Rizzi the way we wanted – she smoked the ball – but ending it on a dropped infield pop-up isn’t exactly the way we wanted to start the season off.”
The Red Raiders are loaded with young talent, with no seniors in Monday’s starting lineup. Again, it will do little to help the team shake the loss off. “It’s growing pains – they’re all young, they’re sophomores and juniors – we’ll work on it,” said DiNuzzo, who highlighted that working on communication will be vital going forward.
How many communication drills, exactly?
“A lot. A lot,” she said. “Especially in our outfield, we have to have them communicate; and obviously now we saw in our infield we have to work on it.”
Manhattan-committed junior pitcher Kayla McDermott struck out seven for the Red Raiders in a nagging loss. Her Ursuline counterpart Val Cucci wasn’t overpowering, but moved the ball exceptionally well throughout the strike zone. Then again, her fourth and final strikeout came on a full count and also ended the game.
Best of the rest: Diana King struck out 15 in a no-hitter during Rye Neck’s 3-0 win at Port Chester. … New Rochelle’s Claire Moloff went 3 for 3 with two RBIs and allowed three hits in the Huguenots’ 8-2 win over Clarkstown North. … Suffern’s Allie Wood fanned 15 and allowed three hits in a 5-0 win over White Plains. … Rye Country Day’s Melanie Mandell went 2 for 3 with a home run in a 6-2 loss to Fieldston. … Tappan Zee’s Nicole Spiegelberg hit a two-run homer in a 9-2 win over Eastchester.
Here are the scores we received Monday night:
Ursuline 7, North Rockland 6
Rye Neck 3, Port Chester 0
Suffern 5, White Plains 0
New Rochelle 8, Clarkstown North 2
Tappan Zee 9, Eastchester 2
Albertus Magnus 13, Byram Hills 4
Woodlands 27, Peekskill 11
Nyack at Clarkstown South, ppd.
Nanuet at Lincoln, ppd.
Below is the schedule for Tuesday, Apr. 7. Barring any inclement weather, I’ll be staffing the marquee Class B matchup between Valhalla and Rye Neck.
Rye Country Day at Rye, 4:15 p.m.
Arlington at John Jay, 4:30 p.m.
John Jay-East Fishkill at Fox Lane, 4:30 p.m.
Mahopac at Lakeland, 4:30 p.m.
Panas vs. Somers at Van Tassel field, 4:30 p.m.
Brewster vs. Lourdes at Macghee Rd field, 4:30 p.m.
Pawling at Peekskill, 4:30 p.m.
Ossining at Horace Greeley, 4:30 p.m.
Putnam Valley at Yorktown, 4:30 p.m.
Hen Hud at Carmel, 4:30 p.m.
Beacon at North Salem, 4:30 p.m.
Irvington at Sleepy Hollow, 4:30 p.m.
Blind Brook at Palisade Prep, 4:30 p.m.
Croton-Harmon at Keio, 4:30 p.m.
Pleasantville at Hastings, 4:30 p.m.
Dobbs Ferry at Westlake, 4:30 p.m.
Valhalla at Rye Neck, 4:30 p.m.
Riverside vs. Tuckahoe at Cottle School, 4:30 p.m.