Offensive Onslaught: Yorktown Starts with Two Blowouts

Kaitlyn Bennett is greeted by her teammates after her first career home run. Credits: Rick Kuperberg

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y.— Freshman Kaitlyn Bennett had her first career home run and Erin Gray hit a grand slam in igniting the Yorktown softball squad to a 28-1 five-inning rout against visiting Hendrick Hudson on April 8.

Christina Ruvo threw three scoreless innings and Erica Salveggi pitched the final two frames on the mound for the Huskers.

Yorktown had opened up the season by recording 23 hits and eight homers in a 20-1 triumph at Fox Lane on April 3.

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“It felt amazing to start the season off so strongly, especially because it’s my last season,” Yorktown senior third baseman Brittany Giordano said. “It gives us a little sneak peek of what the season may look like and I’m very excited.”

The Huskers (2-0) were led offensively by Sam Riccardulli (5 for 6, 2 homers, 3 RBI, 4 runs), Giordano (4 for 6, 3 homers, 6 RBI, 4 runs), Courtney Cardea (3 for 5, double, homer, 4 RBI) and Gray (3 for 6, 2 homers, 3 RBI).

“We did great offensively,” Giordano said. “I know in our offseason most of the girls, including myself, were doing a lot of strength training. We all worked super hard this winter and it obviously showed that the hard work paid off.”

Ruvo earned the win by allowing just one earned run while recording two strikeouts in facing 15 batters with Salveggi garnering the save, striking out eight.

“Our pitchers have been working non-stop during their offseason and during practices,” Giordano said. “Christina pitched a great game which is so awesome because it was her first time pitching on varsity. Erica has been working so hard and it showed during the game. I’m super-excited to see what this season holds.”

Senior Colleen Walsh’s perfect game highlighted Lakeland’s 21-0 opening-day win against visiting Beacon on April 5.

“I think it was a great confidence booster for our whole team,” Walsh said. “I’m happy we all played as well as we did and everyone contributed. This was my first perfect game for high school and my third no-hitter.”

Walsh’s effort included 10 strikeouts in five innings.

“I think I was able to pitch well today because I was so excited it was our first game,” Walsh said. “I wanted to start off strong and we have been working hard with our pitchers and catchers to throw hard and throw strikes. I was really focused and I can’t wait for the rest of the season.”

Walsh also led the Hornet offense with four hits, in addition to recording three RBI and scoring three runs in a game played at the Lakeland Central School District’s administration field because the Hornets’ regular field at the high school was too muddy to play on.

“Our win today was definitely great,” Walsh said. “We knew we were going to be strong again this year but it was great to finally get out and play. It was great to get the nerves out for some of the younger players and start with a strong win.”

Krista Verrino (3 hits, 2 RBI, 4 runs), Krystal Badillo (3 hits, 2 RBI, 2 runs), Amber Badillo (3 hits, 2 RBI, 3 runs), Olivia Knopf (3 hits, 4 RBI, 3 runs), Claire Fon (3 hits, 4 RBI, 1 run) and Cameron Lischinksy (2 hits, RBI, 2 runs) all had multiple-hit games for the Hornets (1-0).

“We hit well today because we focused on hitting line drives,” Walsh said. “There was no fence at the field so we knew we had to hit into the gaps and focus on hitting the middle of the ball. We were disciplined yet aggressive while getting to the ball.”

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