CROSS RIVER, N.Y.— Third-seeded Lakeland hosted No. 14 John Jay in a Class A first round softball contest on May 18, coming out on top 6-1.
Amber Lopez propelled the Hornets’ offense, as she went 2 for 3 with a double and two runs scored, along with a two-run home run in a three-run third inning, which Lakeland led 4-0 at the end of it.
Hornet Krystal Badillo garnered the win by throwing a complete-game four-hitter, striking out 12 while walking just three.
Hannah Matusiak also did the job at the plate, going 2 for 3 with two RBI and had a diving catch in left field to end the game.
“Hannah is a solid player with great defensive skills,” Lopez said. “I had no doubt in my mind she was going to catch it. The team was excited that she made the play.”
While it wasn’t the way the Indians wanted to end their season, there was no shame in losing to a Lakeland squad that entered the game as defending Class A champions and winners of 16 straight.
John Jay’s run came home on an RBI double by Lindsay Neumann in the fifth inning before Lakeland (17-4) finished the scoring with two runs in its half of the frame.
Pam Buscema (single) and Julie Ambinder (two singles) also contributed to the Indians’ offensive effort in Shrub Oak.
“Lindsay, Pam and Julie really did a good job being selective and working the count waiting for a good pitch to hit,” John Jay coach Steve DelMoro said.
John Jay’s Brooke Altneu pitched a complete game while striking out four in a solid effort, especially considering the Hornets had scored 57 runs in their last five games coming into the postseason.
“Brooke did a great job today keeping their hitters off balance using all of her pitches and spotting in every location,” DelMoro said. “She really went out and battled today.”
That type of battling is one of the things that DelMoro liked about coaching this year’s Indians.
“Overall I think our team had some great wins and some games we would like back,” DelMoro said. “Regardless of the wins and losses our girls went out and competed every day and enjoyed the ride while doing so and that’s all I can ask for. I am proud to be the coach of this team.”
John Jay, which advanced to play Lakeland when No. 19 Saunders forfeited in the outbracket round, finished its regular season with a 4-0 loss at Yorktown on May 14, with Buscema leading the Indians (9-13) with two hits against the Huskers.