PEARL RIVER — During the second inning of Saturday’s game between Clarkstown South and Pearl River, Vikings junior Sara Herskowitz hit a rope to center field. Unfortunately, it was hit directly at Jules Madigan, who didn’t need to move aside from lifting her glove.
After that at-bat, I said to myself, “She’s going yard today.”
The next inning, Herskowitz came to bat with the bases loaded and one out. Feverishly tweeting the situation, I hit send and looked up just in time to see Herksowitz launch a grand slam over the center-field fence. The slam was part of a six-run inning that lifted Clarkstown South past Pearl River, 8-2, on a hot, sunny afternoon.
Senior Briana Keaveney settled in after Meagan Woods‘ first-inning RBI double to the wall in left-center field, pitching the Vikings to their week-sweeping fifth win in six days. Pearl River gave the nod to Jill Beckerle, who has emerged as the team’s No. 2 while ace Emily Turilli nurses a bum ankle. Turilli said she’s cleared to play, but wants to strengthen the ankle rather than rush a comeback. With the exception of the third inning, Beckerle did a solid job of handling the Vikings’ deep lineup.
I haven’t commented on umpiring while on the beat, and I really don’t like to comment on officiating in any sport I’m covering, but both sides — as well as myself — found some of the calls a bit peculiar. Coaches from both teams were curious about the inconsistency of the strike zone, while players from both teams also took note.
The calls made it more difficult for Pearl River catcher Erin Brown and Beckerle, who has only started since Turilli’s injury, to find a groove. Even Herskowitz, Clarkstown South’s catcher, playfully addressed the strike zone while at the plate. On a pitch that Brown nearly caught in the left-hander’s batter’s box and was called for a strike, Herskowitz smiled with a, “Ooooh.”
All in all, the umpiring had nothing to do with the final outcome, but since both sides were taking note of it (as was I), I thought I’d address it. On a somewhat related note, the base umpire, Ted Loblanco, was my Little League coach for three years, so it was nice seeing him again and still on the field.
Best of the rest: Dobbs Ferry’s Kim McWhirter homered in a five-inning 19-1 win over Blind Brook. … Westlake’s Alexa Pichiarallo earned the win in a 5-1 victory over Eastchester. … Harrison’s Jacqueline Dalfonso, Gina Nuvolini and Christina DeCarlo each had two RBI in a 10-2 win over Tappan Zee. … Putnam Valley’s Rebecca Marro and Emma Logden each had two RBI in an 8-4 win over Briarcliff. … Somers’ Katie Gall struck out seven in a 3-0 shutout over Pawling. … White Plains’ Sarah Carrier had five RBI in a 9-0 win over Horace Greeley.
Saturday, May 2
Clarkstown South 8, Pearl River 2
Dobbs Ferry 19, Blind Brook 1, 5
Westlake 5, Eastchester 1
Harrison 10, Tappan Zee 2
White Plains 9, Horace Greeley 0
Putnam Valley 3, Briarcliff 0
There are no games slated for Sunday, but please send me your final player of the week selections. I’ll put a post up sometime at night with this week’s winner. Submit nominations via comment, Twitter (@Zacchio_LoHud) or email (email@example.com).