Gurney's Inn
April 19, 2006

Tuckers Find League VII Less Than Favorable

Shane Psaltis The Tuckers season hinges on their star pitcher, Annie Stype. (click for larger version)
If there's one thing that the Mattituck softball team has learned after its first five League VII games, it's that making the playoffs will be no easy task this season.

Playing in one of the most highly-competitive softball leagues in Suffolk County, the Lady Tuckers have opened their 2006 season schedule somewhat inauspiciously, compiling a 2-3 record and looking like a team that has much less firepower than last season; a year that saw Mattituck go 16-3 overall.

Before their 11-2 win over Southampton (1-4) last Wednesday, the Tuckers had seen their offense post only one total run in back-to-back losses to Hampton Bays and Mt. Sinai, including being held scoreless and one-hit by Lady Baymen pitcher Alyssa Lanino on April 10.

With Mt. Sinai (5-0), Bayport-Blue Point (4-1) and Hampton Bays (3-2) beginning to stand out as the cream of the crop of League VII, Mattituck could see itself battling to stay afloat in the race for the postseason over the next several weeks or it could take a change for the better and utilize the skills and talents of a program that has seen more success than any North Fork softball team over the past five-plus years.

The Tuckers, now a Class B team, without question possess the ability to reach the playoffs once again later this spring with seniors Annie Stype and Marisa Viola both capable of providing the kind of leadership that is required to turn a season around.

Last season, Stype (16-2 record) was the winning pitcher in every Mattituck victory and racked up a mind boggling Suffolk County-leading 12 shutouts to go along with three no-hitters, which also ranked first in the county. Viola, a former All-State team selection at shortstop, batted over .600 and led the Tuckers in nearly every major statistical category.

Last Wednesday, Viola went 3-for-3, walked twice, drove in three runs, and reached base in all five of her plate appearances in Mattituck's 11-2 win against the Lady Mariners. Third baseman Stephanie Pesce, another senior, totaled three hits to go along with her three runs scored and Stype (2-3) recorded her second win of the season.

The Tuckers have a favorable schedule ahead of them with games this week at Bishop McGann/Mercy (today at 4 p.m.) and at home against Pierson/Bridgehampton (Friday 4:30 p.m.). Mattituck then travels to Southold/Greenport next Monday (4 p.m.) followed by a game at Stony Brook next Tuesday.

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