April 19, 2006
East Hampton Girls Catch The Magic:
Lady Bonackers Have Great Experience In Disney
The East Hampton girls softball team had a fantastic time both on and off the field last week after competing in a weeklong multi-team tournament against competition from around the country at the Wide World of Sports facility in Orlando, Florida.
The Lady Bonackers, the favorites to win the Suffolk League V later this spring, played nine games over a 10-day period, going 5-3-1 against what head coach Lou Reale described as "some really good competition."
"A lot of the teams that we played were very good," said Reale on Saturday afternoon. "The facility that the team has been playing in is top of the line and the fields are in perfect condition. There are even announcers; it's been first class all the way and the girls have had a great time."
East Hampton's final game at the Wide World of Sports took place last Friday with the Bonackers defeating a representative school from the state of Virginia 2-1 behind a sparkling pitching effort from sophomore hurler Jessie Stavola. East Hampton also played teams from various parts of the country including Brewster and White Plains New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, and Kentucky.
"A few of the teams that we played were very tough because they were from large schools, but I wanted our team to face that kind of competition here," Reale said. "This is our seventh time coming down to Florida to play games and the competition is the best I've ever seen. As a team, we had some shaky games in the beginning, but once we got that out of our system, we started to play the way we're capable of and we started to win. Playing 10 games here was a really positive experience for them."
East Hampton's varsity softball team consists of Stavola, Kristen Carroza, Willa Johann, Kaylie Titus, Myhoa Nguyen, Caity O'Brien, Devin O'Brien, Alex Waleko, Juliana White, Mylinn Nguyen, Marta Johann, Elise Thorsen, Kelsey Bodziner, Nicole Fierro, and Melissa Anderson.
Prior to its trip to Florida, East Hampton (2-2 in League V) suffered a difficult 2-0 decision to Kings Park, the first loss that the Bonackers have endured this season. Then East Hampton learned that because it was unable to play a rain-date makeup game against Islip on April 7 (the same day the Bonackers were flying to Florida), the team would be assessed a 1-0 loss by Section XI. "They [Kings Park] just played better than we did," said Reale. "There's no excuse. We had runners in scoring position in five of the seven innings and couldn't get a run in."
So the trip to Disney couldn't have come at a better time for an East Hampton team with such high expectations. "They just had a great time," said Reale. "They were thankful for the entire experience."