MAHOPAC, N.Y.— After losing a core group of seniors from last year’s team, Mahopac was not sure what to expect this season.
It couldn’t have asked for a better beginning, as the Indians have tattooed the softball for 27 total runs in just three games so far.
There was no sweeter way to kick off the campaign than notching two quality victories over their nemesis in the Carmel Rams.
“I see a lot of team camaraderie,” Mahopac coach Amanda Gambacorta said. “The girls are really coming together. All in all we are a very strong team offensively and defensively.”
Mahopac slaughtered the Rams 11-2 at home on Wednesday, April 12, in a game that eighth-grader Shannon Becker dominated in relief by throwing five innings for zero hits and 11 strikeouts.
“I’m feeling confident,” Becker said. “We have a good defense behind me when I’m pitching. The hitting has been good and we will have a really good season.”
Breaking the affair open in the bottom of the second, the aggressive swinging Indians exploited Carmel’s fielding errors to score four runs and snag a 7-2 lead.
They kept banging away to sharply put the ball in play before making the Rams pay for several wild pitches and poor judgments on ground balls. Not one of the Indians struck out even once on this day.
Senior left fielder Alissa Copeland produced three singles and a walk to guide the attack. Third baseman Kailey Zecca muscled out an RBI on a fielder’s choice in the first inning and struck two base hits.
Catcher Beth Schum rounded out the lineup splendidly, reaching base in all three of her four plate appearances. The senior walked, singled, was hit by a pitch and hit the ball for a groundout while registering an RBI.
Second baseman Abigail Mastropietro had a single and earned an RBI off a bases loaded walk during the huge second inning, and right fielder Emily Ashworth roped an RBI single in the first. Center fielder Amanda Virola finished with an RBI from a fielder’s choice and added a single.
“People have been really strong throughout our order,” Gambacorta said.”There is nobody doing more than anybody else.”
Defensively, Mahopac has seemed to play even better. It did not commit any errors all day, as senior Julianna DePinho tossed the first two frames and surrendered two runs.
“Our defense has been incredibly solid,” Gambacorta said. “It really sticks out to me, the fact that we’ve only had one error (in three games).”
Again guiding the Indians in last Tuesday’s 3-0 makeup win over visiting Port Chester was the hard-throwing Becker. Firing unhittable heat just like against Carmel, she fanned 10 batters and allowed just two hits.
“We are very proud of Shannon,” Gambacorta said. “She came out here with an incredible attitude and works really hard. As you can tell, she is an excellent pitcher.”
Senior first baseman Madison DellaMedaglia set the example by clucking a double in the second inning and an RBI single during the third. Mastropietro drove DellaMedaglia home with a sacrifice fly for the games’ first score in the second.
Star shortstop Kim Astrologo doubled and singled in the victory. Becker, DePinho and Virola each had base-hits.
Mahopac’s first victory of the season over host Carmel on Monday, April 10, was perhaps the most impressive of them all. DePinho tossed the complete game and got all the run support she needed as the Indians won 13-7.
Copeland and Virola penciled three RBI apiece, with all of Copeland’s coming from a bases-clearing double in the fourth.
Schum ripped a two-run single during the same inning while DellaMedaglia racked up two singles, a double, a walk and an RBI. Ashworth and Astrologo drew three walks apiece, and Zecca cracked an RBI double during the fifth.
The hot-swinging Indians (3-0) will kick off a tournament at John Jay Cross-River High School on Friday at 3:45 p.m. The championship game is the following day at 3 p.m. with the consolation contest at 1 p.m.
“If we keep scoring runs and stealing bases, we are going to be pretty good,” Zecca said.