MAHOPAC, N.Y.— In order to pull out a win against any conference powerhouse, everything must fall into place.
They sure did and more as the Indians coasted to a 7-2 victory over Roy C. Ketcham on a gorgeous Thursday afternoon in Mahopac.
“We had some key hits,” Mahopac coach Brian Hunt said. “We played some great defense, our pitching was unbelievable. We just did everything right. Everyone from Amanda Virola out in center field to Marissa Burke in right-field throwing a girl out at first.”
You know it is a meaningful triumph when the coach goes around to high-five everyone in the postgame circle.
Mahopac got hammered at Ketcham just two days prior. The focused Indians put together a stellar team performance, claiming round two to be the first Mahopac softball team to knock off Roy C. Ketcham in 15 years.
“In our first game we took a lot of third strikes,” Hunt said. “We want our kids to be aggressive. If we strike out, we strike out. They played hard and came together. As a coach, I could not be happier.”
A fast-moving pitchers’ duel at first, the game got going after first baseman Maddy DellaMedaglia grounded a short-hop that the Ketcham shortstop could not handle. This allowed third baseman Carly Pease to score from third with two outs.
Left fielder Alissa Copeland lined an RBI single up the gut to plate DellaMedaglia from second, who stole the base after a wild pitch. Mahopac was in front 2-0 after four innings.
“We definitely came out hard from the first inning,” pitcher Julia Walpole said. “We played tight defense. We wanted revenge, so we were ready to play from the beginning.”
Walpole dealt another complete game with yet another quality performance on the hill. She only surrendered two runs, earning the game ball. The senior even clobbered a two-run triple in the bottom of the sixth to pad Mahopac’s lead.
The Indians took charge of the game in the bottom of the fifth by doing the little things. Shortstop Kim Astrologo drew a walk with one out. Pease sprinted to beat out a routine grounder to short.
Leading off third base, Astrologo bulleted home as the pitcher’s pick-off throw whizzed past the third baseman. DellaMedaglia pushed home Pease by out-running a ground-ball to third.
Juliana DePinho blooped a pop-up single to shallow center, making runners on first and third for Copeland. She delivered with another RBI base-knock. After five frames in the books, underdog Mahopac controlled a 5-0 lead.
“I totally thought we could do it,” said Virola, who was busy in center field, making multiple put-outs. “We just had to clear our heads and come in with a straight mind to win.”
Assistant coach Amanda Gambacorta was overjoyed with the unique combined effort by the Indians in a win to remember.
“This is what I have been waiting for all season and this is what I knew that we were capable of,” Gambacorta said. “I have never been so proud. I can pick out a good thing that every single person did on this field whether they were on the field or off the field.”
Hunt can see the progression in the team playing more confidently, something that he has been preaching all this season long.
“They are starting to take more ownership of what they are doing,” Hunt said. “To win the kids had more confidence in themselves.”
For Gambacorta, mental toughness is another aspect that she sees the Indians growing to grasp.
“We didn’t let anything get to us,” Gambacorta said. “They had the bases loaded after that tough hop. One hit could have cleared the bases. We now have that mental toughness that we have needed all year. From Tuesday to now has been an unbelievable transformation.”
Mahopac (5-6) rallied to defeat Somers 8-6 on April 25 behind two hits, three RBI and two runs scored from Astrologo. Raquel DiVincenzo added two hits, three runs scored and an RBI. Pease had two hits, an RBI and a run scored.