THIELLS, N.Y.— Second-seeded Yorktown’s softball squad defeated No. 4 North Rockland 4-1 in the Section 1 Class AA championship game at North Rockland on May 27, winning the school’s first softball sectional crown since 2008.
“We all deserved it,” Yorktown winning pitcher Erica Salveggi said. “We came to play. We were prepared the whole season and just worked so hard to get this and come to this moment.”
Salveggi, a junior who was hurling a no-hitter through five innings, led Yorktown to the win by striking out nine and scattering three hits in a complete-game effort.
“Erica is taking ownership this year,” Yorktown second-year coach Ryan Iamurri said. “She knows that if she can keep us in any ballgame—we won’t lose—we’ll eventually score the runs. She has more poise, a lot more leadership and a lot more confidence this year.”
Yorktown got all the runs Salveggi would need in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Maddy Wrubel (2 for 3, run) and a two-run double by Brianna Buck.
Courtney Cardea (2 for 3, two runs) and Reilly Koch (2 for 3, RBI, double) did the job hitting.
Cardea also showed she could do the job behind the plate, throwing out a pinch-runner for Sarah Zecchin attempting to steal second base after Zecchin got the Red Raiders’ first hit when she led off the sixth with a single.
“Courtney really did push me to get the next girl out,” Salveggi said. “She always has my back and I knew she had my back in that inning too. It’s amazing how she threw her out. I was grateful. That saved us right there.”
Salveggi then struck out the Red Raiders’ leading home run hitter Bella Chiorazzi before inducing an infield pop-up to end the inning.
Yorktown beat visiting No. 6 Mamaroneck 4-1 in the semifinals on May 24, avenging last year’s quarterfinal defeat at the hands of the Tigers, with Salveggi scattering six hits in her complete-game victory.
Brittany Giordano hit a two-run homer in the first inning, which drove in Angie Serrano.
A solo homer by Koch in the bottom of the fourth and an RBI double by Erin Gray in the sixth added to the lead.
Gray hit a walk-off homer in the eighth inning to give the Huskers a thrilling 9-8 win in the quarterfinals vs. visiting No. 7 Clarkstown South on May 23.
“I was really nervous,” Gray admitted. “The whole team really battled back so well after being down by five. We all wanted it so bad. I really just wanted to hit a hard line drive and I did. It just happened to go over the fence. After I hit it I felt amazing. Running around the bases I was yelling because it felt so good to win a battle like this game. It’s been about four hours after the game and I am still on a rush.”
The Vikings held an 8-3 lead but Koch’s three-run homer cut the deficit to 8-6 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Yorktown tied the game with two runs in the seventh.
Cardea (2 for 2, 2 walks, 2 runs), Buck (2 for 4) and Giordano (solo homer) also helped the Huskers (19-5) in their comeback.
“I think what really drove us to the win is that we weren’t ready to lose,” Gray said. “We knew we could go so much farther than this and we have come so far as a team for it to end today. Plus during sectionals we are always playing for our seniors. Maddy (Wrubel) came up to me before my last at bat and said ‘I have so much confidence in you’ and I knew then that we weren’t going home with a loss today.”