2013-05-17 / Sports

Orioles and Buckeyes Nab First Season Wins

Mother Nature and Mother’s Day limited the slate last week but there was still exciting action in Girls’ Softball as the Keating Realty Orioles and the Knights of Columbus Buckeyes broke into the win column. The annual Pitch, Hit and Run competition also took place.

The Keating Realty Orioles (Minor Girls) won their first game of the season against the J&E Industries Dodgers. They say good pitching beats good hitting and that proved to be the case on a sunny Monday. After some tough losses, the O’s pitching by Kelly Erhard and Carianne Sconzo was able to put the team in the win column.

Behind the pitchers, the fielders also got the job done. Bridget Donnelly, Danielle Stamos and Kate Hayes are showing great versatility moving around the diamond and making the plays to keep their team in every game. The grit and determination of Fiona Mullen, and Caleigh Murphy came through as the coaches count on these girls to take on the tough fielding assignments including catching.

Coach Donnelly knew the bats would warm up as the girls got a few games under their belts and this proved to be true in game five of the season. Maisie Courtney and Diane Erhard are always a threat and Jillian Schneider and Katey Celentano are moving up in the lineup due to their high on base percentages.

Although not present at the win on Monday; Colleen Bambury, Erin Frerks, Maria Morley and Kaitlyn Potter have contributed to keeping their team in the hunt in earlier games and their contributions are important to the team spirit to learn and love the game of softball.

In Major Girls, the Knights of Columbus Buckeyes nipped the Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder Gators for their first win. The Buckeyes began the game with only eight players; luckily the ninth player arrived about 20 minutes into the game.

The Gators racked up six runs in the first inning, leaving the Buckeyes to hope there wouldn’t be a shut-out. Ann Velluzzi did a terrific job pitching for the Buckeyes, earning five strikeouts and fielding an additional four outs. Gianna Grillo played an excellent shortstop, grabbing a fly and working with Katie Wrynn and Maggie Brady for another four outs. She also hit a triple and had two RBIs.

Samantha Rom held her own at third base. Victoria Meier covered first base like a tarp and got a two-run double. All the Buckeyes scored at least once grabbing a 13-12 win in six innings.

The Buckeyes would also like to send their well wishes to injured player Emily Frerks who will most likely be out for the season due to an ankle injury, her bat as well as her defensive skills will be missed!

Last Friday, May 10th, more than three dozen boys and girls competed in the first round of the annual Pitch, Hit and Run (PHR) tournament.

PHR is a national baseball skills competition sponsored by Major League Baseball. Winners progress through three rounds of competition with the final round taking place during MLB’s All-Star Festival. This year’s festival and All-Star Game will be at CitiField.

The spirited contest among Rockaway players produced 16 skill leaders, including seven overall winners, who will advance to the regional competition next week in Garden City. In the Boys 7-8 division, Gene Sebastiano, Gavin Gallagher and Nicholas Abernethy each pitched well but Nicholas’ bat and speed put him on top as the overall skills winner.

Gerard McManus had the biggest bat and best foot speed among 9- and 10- year old boys but James Tuohey performance on the mound was enough to assure him the top spot. Albert Meyer also pitched well. In Girls 9-10, it was a clean sweep by Molly Abernethy.

Brenden Gallagher was the king of the mound in Boys 11/12 but James Resker’s hitting and running performances earned him top honors. Girls 11/12 was also a tight battle as Carianne Sconzo and Kathleen Walker were equals on the mound. Sconzo hit better but Walker was faster and that speed put her just ahead of Sconzo as overall winner.

The Boys 13/14 division had the most competitors and the most interesting results. Aiden Gallagher, who represented Rockaway in the last two PHR’s, won the Run contest. Paul Willoughby and William Esposito tied for most accurate Pitcher and Kieran Mills had the best Hit score. When the scores were tallied, William Esposito was the overall winner. Meanwile, Meagan Duffy ran the table in Girls 13-14.

May is National Ehlers-Danlos Awareness Month. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a genetic collagen deficiency. Since collagen holds 90% of our bodies together, this can be a serious condition. One of our players is out for the season with a broken right ankle as a result of the syndrome. Two other students at P.S. 114 were recently diagnosed.

DIAMOND DUST: Photo Days are coming soon. Go to the Little League website to find out when your child’s team is scheduled (June 1st, 2nd or 5th) and to order your package in advance....The entire 2013 schedule is now available online as well as the team pages and league rules. Visit www.rockawaylittleleagueny.com.

Pitch, Hit and Run contestants give it their all hoping to represent Rockaway in the national tournament.

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