April 26, 2006
For Riverhead softball pitcher Laurie Edwards, all of the individual accolades that she has worked so hard to earn in a mega-impressive varsity career that spans five seasons doesn't compare to what she and her teammates hope to accomplish later this season: winning a class title.
|Independent / Shane A. Psaltis
Riverhead's Laurie Edwards recorded her 700th career strikeout against Hills West last week. (click for larger version)|
But that doesn't mean that others can't sing her praises. Edwards, a senior and five-year starter on the Blue Waves, was an All-County selection last season, winning 12 games, allowing one earned run per start and striking out 135 in League III, one of the most competitive softball leagues on Long Island.
Edwards is also the Waves' top hitter, batting .375 last year with a team-leading six home runs and 25 RBI. This season she's already batting near .400 with power and run production that put her on a pace to eclipse last season's hitting statistics. The words "team MVP" befit her like no other softball player on the North Fork.
This season, Edwards won her 50th career game in the Lady Blue Waves' 13-1 victory over North Babylon, striking out 13 Bulldogs batters along the way. Three games earlier, she threw a two-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts in Riverhead's 3-0 win over the Lady Hurricanes on March 28, showcasing the power pitching seen from only a handful of hurlers on Long Island.
Then on April 18, Edwards pitched another gem, allowing four hits to help lead Riverhead past a stellar hitting Half Hollow Hills West squad 8-3. The Colts are currently 6-2 in League IV and occupy second place with Riverhead (5-3) sitting only a game back in third.
In that game, Edwards struck out a career-high 15 batters and strikeout number #15 was a milestone as it signified the 700th strikeout of her varsity career. Last season, Edwards became the Lady Blue Waves all-time strikeout queen when she registered career strikeout #520.
Although Riverhead has lost its past two league games, they're currently only four wins away from clinching another playoff spot and with games against Half Hollow Hills East (0-8) and West Babylon scheduled for this week, the Waves' prospects of inching closer to one of their goals appear to be strong.
And why shouldn't they be? When you have a player like Laurie Edwards in your lineup, good things are bound to happen.