Dolphins Escape Van Buren To Remain First
In a battle for first place in the PSAL Queens B Division, Beach Channel pitcher Jodi Vitale got herself into one of the first pressure situations of the softball season. An 8-4 lead in the top of the seventh soon became an 8-7 ballgame with Van Buren having the tying run on third base.
“The pressure affected us a bit. I kind of try to put it away and focus on the next batter,” Vitale said.
What she did was get out Tennell Ramirez on a called strike three to end the Van Buren rally and give Beach Channel (7-0) a 8-7 win to remain in sole possession of first place.
In a sloppy affair that had numerous mistakes committed by both sides, the Dolphins did enough to end up on the winning side. Van Buren committed three errors in a costly 5th inning which allowed BC to take an 8-4 lead.
The Dolphins’ gaffes in the top of the seventh gave Van Buren one last chance to almost tie the game by committing three errors. Head coach Robert Attonito was excited about the outcome but noted his displeasure of not concentrating on making fundamental plays.
“It’s not the physical errors that annoy me. Anybody can make a mistake and take their eye off the ball,” Attonito said. “It’s when they make a mental mistake that costs them games.”
With Van Buren and Queens H.S. of Teaching moving into the division this year, the Dolphins will have some tough regular season games. They have won three straight divisional crowns with a 45-0 record in league play. Attonito will welcome competition from any team who can prepare them for the playoffs.
“The best thing for me is that we have two good teams that have windmill pitchers and we have to play (Van Buren) the next to last game of the season which is good,” Attonito says. “These are things we need to be able to move on.”
Moving on is reaching the title game, which has eluded the Dolphins the past two seasons. Vitale is hoping to get that opportunity.
“It makes us better for the playoffs and prepares us for the competition. I try to concentrate on having fun because it’s my last year and I’m dying to go all the way,” Vitale said.