A wise man once said, “All good things must come to an end.” Even though the Lady Clippers’ season ended this past week, it was definitely a season to remember.
The Lady Clippers varsity softball team was composed of seniors Trinity Behlen, Makayla Carrozza, and co-captains Samantha Rieb and Sofia Gannon; juniors Kat Vignona and Valerie Fabian; sophomores Jordyn Rodecker, Bell Beck and co-captain Erika Johnson, and freshmen Marissa Krawczyk, Shelby Kaczmarek, Eliana Cruz, Emelie Cruz and Kayleigh Py.
This was Rieb and Gannon’s third year with the varsity team and Johnson’s fourth.
This team had a lot of talent and things to look forward to. They wanted to get past that hurdle of the first round of playoffs, which, in previous years, was the out-bracket. The team started out with a 3-5 record but they weren’t worried because it didn’t reflect their play. There were a few things they had to fix, and we saw that in the next seven games.
The Lady Clippers went on a seven-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 48-8. They scored double-digit runs in three of those games and held their opponent scoreless in five. They had one more test in their path before playoffs, which was a 13-0 win against William Floyd.
In the first game of playoffs, Rieb had 17 strikeouts as the Lady Clippers won 1-0. In round two they visited North Babylon, who they lost to in their last meeting of the regular season. This time around, things were different. Rieb pitched a three-hitter and Krawczyk got the go-ahead RBI single, scoring Gannon. Although they lost their third game 1-0, they had a chance at keeping their season alive, and they did by defeating Deer Park 2-1. Rieb had 11 strikeouts while Roedecker had a two-RBI single in the first inning.
In Game 5 of the playoffs, they visited Smithtown East, who they lost to in the regular season, but they defeated them 3-1. Rieb had 11 strikeouts and had a two-run home run in the top of the first inning. Gannon drove in Vignona with an RBI single in the top of the second inning.
Although they ended up falling to West Islip, this was the furthest that Bellport softball had gotten in 25 years and it was their third consecutive year making playoffs.
“It felt so good to make it this far in playoffs. Nobody expected us to be where we were — we set high standards for ourselves,” said Gannon. “We beat North Babylon, who was the No. 1 seed. We had so much heart and we played our best game — it was a great feeling.”
“Everybody on this team really bonded and connected with each other and that definitely translated onto the field,” added Vignona.
The Lady Clippers removed that thorn of losing in the first round, playing six playoff games this year.
“The sacrifice and extra practice sessions payed off; making history by getting this far is something I will always cherish and remember,” said Rieb.
“We went into every game with the mindset that as long as we had each other’s backs, good things would come,” concluded Johnson. “After working hard over the summer, I knew this was our year to take it. Beating a team like North Babylon was amazing and something that no one expected.”