SHRUB OAK, N.Y.— Lakeland’s softball squad made a statement early against visiting Harrison on April 12, scoring eight runs in the opening inning in a 17-1 rout.
Winning pitcher Colleen Walsh (3 hits, 5 RBI, 2 runs), Hannah Matusiak (2 hits, 4 RBI, 2 runs), Olivia Knopf (2 hits, 2 RBI, 2 runs) and Claire Fon (2 hits, 1 RBI, 3 runs) highlighted the Hornets’ effort.
Lakeland also came out on fire against visiting Walter Panas on April 11, leading 7-0 after the first two innings in a 14-4 victory.
“It always feels good to win and when playing a rival school, everyone needs to step up their game in order to reach success,” said Knopf, a senior first baseman.
Knopf led Lakeland to the win by registering a team-high five RBI in addition to recording three hits, including a homer, and a run scored.
“I credit my success to all the hard work I put into softball,” Knopf said.
Walsh, who struck out 11, helped herself at the plate by having four hits, four RBI and three runs scored. Amanda DiClerico also shined offensively, with three hits and three runs against Panas.
“I believe Colleen, Amanda, myself and the rest of the girls really stepped up our game and that is why we did so well,” Knopf said. “Our motto is ‘play every game like the section finals’ so that is why we came out as strong as we did.”
Amber Badillo also stood out for the Hornets (3-0) with two hits, two RBI and a run scored.
Yorktown went toe-to-toe and gave a great effort against one of the best in Section 1 at John Jay-East Fishkill on April 11, but fell to the Patriots 3-0.
“We really wanted this win,” Yorktown junior pitcher Erica Salveggi said. “But we knew what we needed to do. We know this was a loss, but we will learn from this. It was a positive loss for us. We will learn from this to try and become the team of the section. It shows us how good we can become and face teams as good as John Jay-East Fishkill. We really enjoyed this game today and now know what we must work on in the long run. We are very excited for the rest of the season.”
Salveggi did her part in trying to keep the Huskers in the game, allowing just three runs and five hits while striking out four in six innings of work.
“I was able to pitch as well as I did because I knew my team had my back,” Salveggi said. “We knew coming into this game we would have some big competition, and we took it to the next level this game. Our defense was on point today and I had no doubt they would make the plays.”
Unfortunately for Salveggi, she was going against one of the best in John Jay’s Ally Muller, who allowed just one hit, to Angie Serrano.
“Facing such a top team today really showed me how our team can really compete with such a team with high level skills,” Salveggi said. “We were ready to come in strong and face them. I came determined to fight today and I know that was the mood amongst our team as well.”
Yorktown (3-1) won four days later against visiting Pawling 12-3 with Erin Gray (2-4, 2 homers, 3 RBI, 3 runs scored), Samantha Riccardulli 3-4, three runs), Courtney Cardea (2-4, 3 RBI) and Salveggi (homer) doing the job at the plate.
Salveggi earned the win on the mound, recording nine strikeouts.