Dolphins Wilt In PSAL Title Defeat
Beach Channel needed to win two games if they wanted to leave the College of Staten Island last Saturday with the PSAL B softball championship trophy. In beating JFK 8-1 last Thursday afternoon to get to the title game, they had arrived with good spirits.
By defeating Richmond Hill in the first game 13-3 in six innings, the Dolphins were poised to win the title in the second game. On a humid and oppressive day, they were trying to conserve enough energy to win the second.
But in a great bounceback game by Richmond Hill (19-3) pitcher Rachel Babooram halted the Dolphins’ momentum as the Lions won 5-2 and left with the B title.
After walking 12 batters in a Dolphins 13-3 blowout win in the first game, Babooram did just enough to hold the Dolphins (21-3) at bay in the second. Kushnick said it was a remarkable performance that she regained her concentration and confidence.
“I said to her that you’ve never lost two games back to back the entire season and it’s not going to start now,” Richmond Hill head coach Robert Kushnick said.
She walked 10 batters but the senior got out of two bases loaded jams. In the second, Babooram induced Mayleen Alvardo to bounce to an inning ending double play. In the third inning, she escaped trouble by striking out Beach Channel’s Samantha Lebron and Shauntel Abrams to end the threat.
The tide then began to turn in Richmond Hill’s favor. Dolphins’ pitcher Jodi Vitale may have been starting to wilt in the oppressive heat and shortstop Amy Ayala took advantage of the opportunity. Her one out, 2 RBI triple to deep left centerfield, the Lions grabbed a 3-2 lead.
Vitale then gave up a RBI single to Wendy Reyes to make it 4-2. She admits she was a bit tired due to the heat, which at one point reached 91 degrees, but made no excuses for her performance. It was just a matter of execution that the #1 seeded Richmond Hill did to win.
“It was a little disappointing but you got to tip your hat off to them,” Vitale, who will graduate this year, said.
“They came out strong and came out hacking. They went after me because I was a little tired pitching the first game. It was a great ride. I had fun and the girls are great.”
Dolphins coach Robert Attonito was not upset at his team’s performance especially considering they played well in the playoffs. Their run to the championship was set in stone after winning 8-1 over JFK at Clinton High School in the Bronx last Thursday.
In a scoreless tie in the fifth inning, third baseman Dezire McPherson hit a scalding line drive for a three run triple and a 5-0 lead. With the game over, the only anticipation expected was for the Dolphins to splash Attonito with Gatorade.
On Saturday, they were a few innings away from reaching the brass ring but could not get there.
“I don’t feel bad or sad. They (Richmond Hill) played well. They didn’t make errors and took care of the ball,” Attonito said.
“You can’t leave people on. We had the bases loaded twice and she had 4 walks in a row at one point,” Attonito said. “The girls played well but we didn’t get the hits when we needed and that’s softball.”
It was the first time in Attonito’s five seasons as head coach that Beach Channel made the title game. He will remain proud of the way his team fought. “I’m only sad for the girls. I’m not sad for myself. We got here. They played a good game in the morning and the afternoon but they fell short.”