Unbeaten Start: Mahopac Wins Jay Fest Tourney

Shannon Becker winds up for the pitch. Credits: Deena Bell

CROSS RIVER, N.Y.— Although it’s early in the season, Mahopac softball has already jetted to a flawless 6-0 record after winning the Jay Fest Tournament on April 22 at John Jay-Cross River.

“When it comes down to it, we are very scrappy,” Mahopac coach Amanda Gambacorta said. “We are able to make the necessary plays to get the runs that we need to win. It goes back to the fact that the girls work so well together and are in it for each other. Whatever they do—they do it for the team—not for individual stats.” 

Starting pitcher Shannon Becker rolled through New Rochelle’s lineup in Mahopac’s 5-1 win in the finals by dominating seven frames with 14 strikeouts, four hits, an earned run and three walks. 

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“I’m hitting my spots well,” Becker said. “The most important thing for me is that I’m getting ahead in the count, so that I can work from there. I am also confident in the team behind me in the field. When you’re confident, you’re better.”

With the game tied in the top of the sixth, senior shortstop Kim Astrologo ripped a double to set the table. Becker and Madison DellaMedaglia followed with RBI singles before senior Julianna DePinho roped an RBI double down the left-field line.

“We feed off each other,” DellaMedaglia said. “When one person gets a hit or steals a base or even gets walked, we all just keep going and it falls into place.”

The dominoes kept falling as Kailey Zecca ripped an RBI base-hit to left field. Amanda Virola singled and Alissa Copeland laid down a sacrifice bunt.  

“The girls put a lot of energy into that inning,” Gambacorta said. “They said this was the inning we were going to score and we did. We went through the whole lineup and had seven hits.”

Besting host John Jay, 2-0, in the first round of the tourney on Friday, Becker once again shocked the crowd by throwing a complete game with 11 strikeouts, six hits and no walks.

Mahopac stirred up a couple of unearned runs on heads up base-running by both Becker and Beth Schum.

It had to manage without five juniors because of the prom, which was on the same day. Three girls called up from the junior varsity team exceeded expectations.

“Everybody worked really hard together,” Gambacorta said. “They (JV girls) were playing different positions (than usual). We played solid in the field and it says a lot to our credit how we were able to come together as a team and get the win.” 

Firing on all cylinders, the Indians notched a key 1-0 league-win over visiting Arlington last Monday.

They walked off in the seventh off DePinho’s clinching RBI double to score Zecca from second base. Abigail Mastropietro successfully bunted Zecca over after she singled to begin the inning.

Of course, Becker doused the Admirals’ offense by pitching another full game to eight strikeouts, three hits and two walks.

Mahopac travels to Walter Panas on April 27 at 4:30 p.m. and will take on Roy C. Ketcham once more at home two days later at 4:30 p.m.

“We need to have confidence in ourselves, not look down on other teams and just automatically think that we have it,” DellaMedaglia said. “We have to prove it to ourselves that we have it.”

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