EAST FISHKILL, N.Y.— The third time playing the second-seeded John Jay-East Fishkill Patriots was not a charm for Mahopac’s softball team, which fell 4-1 in the first round of the Section 1 Class AA playoffs on Saturday, May 20.

“We had a chance throughout the whole game,” Mahopac coach Amanda Gambacorta said. “We definitely played better defensively and Shannon (Becker) did amazing at keeping the hits at a minimum.”

Already trailing 1-0 during the bottom of the third inning, the Indians dug themselves a deeper hole after Patriot Kelly Battigan roped an RBI triple down the right-field line before they surrendered another run to fall behind 3-0.

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Even though the lineup did not bring its A-game, Mahopac scrapped out a run the next inning off an RBI infield single by first baseman Madison DellaMedaglia as the ball landed in front of the pitcher and spun backward.

Junior shortstop Kim Astrologo started the frame, beating out a groundball to shortstop before dashing to third base on third baseman Kailey Zecca’s sacrifice bunt.

But the Indians struggled at the plate, striking out 13 times and only squeezing out two hits against star starting pitcher Ally Muller.

They saw a glimpse of hope to begin the top of the seventh, while down 4-1. DellaMedaglia’s screaming line-drive single off the left-fielder’s glove pumped up the visiting crowd.

“We stuck together and really wanted this game,” Astrologo said. “We had the energy up the whole game even if we made some errors and didn’t get the bats going. We really came close as a team this year and had our energy up all year.” 

Senior Tiffany Terilli followed with a chopper to third, as DellaMedaglia was gunned out at second for the force out. Sofia Arena laid down a bunt, but was thrown out at first for out number two.

Catcher Beth Schum went down swinging on strikes to end it.

Eighth-grader Shannon Becker kept Mahopac relevant on the mound, working six innings to surrender seven hits and one walk while fanning five.

“We did incredibly well this season,” Gambacorta said. “Our record did not accurately reflect the amount of work we did. I’m really proud of the progress the girls made and of that they were able to bond together. That had a lot to do with why we were more successful this year.”

The Indians (8-11) also stumbled against host Clarkstown South, 9-5, last Tuesday in their last regular season game. Zecca launched an RBI double in the fifth inning and finished with two singles and a walk.  

Becker hit an RBI double while DellaMedaglia bopped two singles for an RBI. Juliana DePinho singled three times, as Arena slapped a base-hit and drew a walk.

Last Monday’s road match with Roy C. Ketcham will go down as a memorable one for this year’s squad, since it roasted its league rival 11-1 in the first away win versus the school in many years.

The young phenom Becker went the distance, tossing a complete game for nine strikeouts, one walk, and four hits. She also helped her own cause, driving in three runs on a double and a single.

Zecca clobbered a solo home run in the second and walked twice. The hitting frenzy spread as Astrologo penciled a double and two singles.

DellaMedaglia knocked home two runs off two singles, while DePinho had an RBI and doubled. Second baseman Abigail Mastropietro smacked an RBI double and singled twice.

“I feel really good about next year,” Astrologo said. “We have some really good kids coming up and definitely have a great coaching staff that brought us together this year.”