March 29, 2006

Mattituck Softball Previews Make Or Break Year For Tuckers

The Mattituck softball team has had one of the most successful runs on the North Fork over the past five years and this season, the Lady Tuckers look to once again challenge for a class championship.

Now competing as a class B school, Mattituck (16-3 last season) features arguably the top shortstop in Suffolk County in perennial All-County selection Marisa Viola. Viola, now in her senior season, is a sparkplug that can hit, field, run and throw with the best on Long Island and last season she once again wowed Tuckers' fans with a plethora of highlights.

Viola led Mattituck with a mind-boggling .608 batting average and also finished first in hits, runs scored, doubles, triples, and steals. She's a prime time performer that always seems to deliver in the clutch and the kind of player that can flat out dominate a game whether she's at the plate or in the field.

When discussing the top softball pitchers in Suffolk, one has to mention Mattituck's senior hurler Annie Stype. Stype (16-2) was the winning pitcher in every Tuckers victory last season, compiling a Suffolk County-leading 12 shutouts to go along with her three no-hitters, also a county best.

Opposing batters created extra wind during games last season when their swings resulted in 174 strikeouts and Stype continues to add velocity to her pitches each year. She's primed for another big season and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Stype duplicate her shutouts . . . and her no hitters.

Outstanding defense is something that Mattituck prides itself on playing and seniors Viola, Stephanie Pesce (third base), and Shelly Dibble (second base) along with junior first baseman Jackie Goy give Mattituck one of the most fundamentally sound infields in Suffolk. Alex Hyland, a stellar hitter (.333) solidifies the catcher position after switching from centerfield.

Although the Tuckers will not have Hyland in the outfield this season and graduated two key starting outfielders last spring, players such as returnees Stephanie Bremer and Riva Packard along with newcomers Kaylyn O'Brien, Taryn Boucher, Allissa Goodale, Arielle Comellas and Catherine Seyfried are all vying for playing time.

Mattituck plays its second League VII game of the season today when the Tuckers host Elwood/John Glenn at 4:30.

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