Yorktown Cruises Past Carmel in Opening Round

Yorktown’s Samantha Ricardulli, left, receives a high-five from teammate Courtney Cardea after scoring a run. Credits: Rob DiAntonio

YORKTOWN, N.Y.— Yorktown’s bats were on fire as the second-seeded Huskers blanked visiting No. 18 Carmel 20-0 on May 18 in the opening round of the Section 1 Class AA softball tournament.
Those hot bats were backed up by winning pitcher Erica Salveggi’s stellar performance. Salveggi struck out 11 Rams in four innings of work and helped set the tone for Yorktown when she struck out the side in the opening inning.
“Erica pitched well today because she was hitting her spots really well and going right at hitters,” Yorktown senior catcher Courtney Cardea said.
The defending Class AA champion Huskers got the jump on the Rams early in the five-inning contest when Brianna Buck hit a rope to left-center field that jumped off her bat and over the fence in about a second to give Yorktown a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
The Huskers later scored two more runs to go up 3-0 after two innings.
Yorktown got another jolt of lightning in the third when a three-run home run to center field by Reilly Koch put the Huskers up 8-0 and they never looked back as her blast simply allowed the team to relax.
“When Reilly hit that home run, it really got us excited in the dugout and we loosened up and it allowed us to have fun,” Cardea said.
Cardea, Salveggi, Sam Riccardulli and Erin Gray registered three hits apiece for Yorktown against Carmel.
“We hit well today because we’ve been getting excited for the playoffs and just knowing that any game could be your last puts all of our heads in the right place and we’re focused when we’re up at bat,” Cardea said.
Yorktown (19-2) also won 2-1 against visiting No. 7 White Plains in the quarterfinals on May 21, led by winning pitcher Salveggi (11 strikeouts), Angie Serrano (solo homer), Buck (RBI) and Riccardulli (2 for 4, run). 
Third-seeded Lakeland hosted No. 14 John Jay-Cross River in a Class A first-round contest on May 18, coming out on top 6-1. 
Junior catcher Amber Lopez propelled the Hornets’ offense, as she went 2 for 3 with a double and two runs scored, along with a two-run homer in a three-run third inning, which Lakeland led 4-0 at the end of it.
“With Claire being out of the lineup it felt good to step up for the team,” Lopez said.
Lopez was referring to Claire Fon, who is out because of an injury. Fon’s bat not only was top-notch but so was her arm.
Fortunately for Lakeland, Krystal Badillo has stepped up big time on the mound. Against John Jay, she garnered the win by throwing a complete-game four-hitter, striking out 12 while walking just three. “Krystal is dedicated and practices all the time,” Lopez said.
Hannah Matusiak also did the job at the plate, going 2 for 3 with two RBI and showed she could field too with a diving catch in left field to end the game.
“Hannah is a solid player with great defensive skills,” Lopez said. “I had no doubt in my mind she was going to catch it. The team was excited that she made the play.”
Lakeland (18-4) won its quarterfinal contest as well, against visiting No. 6 Harrison 10-2 on May 21, with winning pitcher Badillo (6 strikeouts), Lopez (2 for 3, 2 runs), Stella Bale (1 for 2, 2 runs, RBI), Emily McGrath (1 for 3, 2 RBI, double), and Matusiak (grand slam) leading the Hornets to victory against the Huskies.

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