Gurney's Inn
May 10, 2006

EH Girls Set Their Sights On Islip



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Independent / Jan Marie Mackin The Bonackers softball team earned a big victory against powerhouse Connetquot on Saturday. (click for larger version)
Only an early-season upset loss to Kings Park coupled with a non-played forfeiture win handed down by Section XI to first place Islip (12-0 in League V) stands between the East Hampton girls softball team and first place in Suffolk's Division V.

Earlier this season, East Hampton and Islip's first meeting of the year was postponed due to rain. Unfortunately for Bonackers, the make-up date was scheduled for the same day they were to board a plane for a 10-day tournament in Orlando, Florida.

Because East Hampton (11-2, 14-2 overall) could not play the game, Section XI awarded the win to Islip (and a loss to the Bonackers that ultimately could wind up costing them the league title), instead of scheduling the game on a later date.

But instead of dwelling on a negative that it could not control, East Hampton has gone on to win its past 11 games and today, the Bonackers have the opportunity to avenge the "loss" they suffered to an Islip team that, arguably, did not deserve to be gift wrapped a win over a team that went 25-2 last season.

"We've been looking to play them [Islip] for a long time, but we're not looking past anyone right now," said East Hampton's head coach Lou Reale. "If we play up to the standards that we've set for ourselves, we'll be alright. There aren't too many teams that can beat us."

But even if East Hampton defeats Islip today, the Bonackers will still need help from either Kings Park (8-3), Comsewogue (5-8) or Rocky Point (2-10) in order to finish in a tie for the Division V title. If Islip finishes with only one loss, and the Bonackers win the remainder of their games, they'll still have to settle for second place. "It's a big game for both of us," Reale said.

On Saturday, East Hampton earned a colossal win against a top tier League II opponent when it defeated Connetquot (12-2 overall), the eighth-best rated team in Suffolk, 2-0 behind the masterful pitching of ace hurler Jessie Stavola.

Stavola, arguably the best sophomore pitcher in Suffolk, threw her third no-hitter of the season on Saturday, striking out 11 T-Birds batters while walking only one.

"Jessie did a great job, her screwball was driving in on the right handed batters and they just couldn't hit it," said Reale. "It was probably the best game that she's pitched all year."

With the game scoreless in the top of the seventh inning, Willa Johann led off the inning being hit by a pitch. Nicole Fierro sacrificed her to second base and Marta Johann stepped to the plate to pinch hit for Caity O'Brien.

What happened next will live in East Hampton softball lore for years to come. Marta Johann, down in the count 0-2, jumped on Connetquot pitcher Jaime Stalter's next offering and sent her pitch soaring over the left-cen-terfield fence for a colossal two-run home run. The ball was believed to have traveled well over 250 feet!

"It was the longest home run that I've ever seen hit. It was a real bomb and Marta hit it against a very good pitcher. It was a big hit for us and it was very exciting to watch," said Reale. "It was a big game for both of us and both pitchers were having great games. Connetquot has an excellent team and they're doing very well this season."

Last Thursday, East Hampton defeated Rocky Point 11-1 at East Hampton High School in a game that was tied 1-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning before the Bonackers' offense struck for 10 runs, highlighted by a two-run triple off the bat of Devin O'Brien. "Defensively, we didn't play well in that game," Reale said. "We made too many errors. We're not satisfied with just winning a game. We want to play well in every game."

Before the game, East Hampton honored former player Erin Boch, a recent college graduate, by placing her on the Bonackers Wall of Fame alongside fellow inductees Anne Marie Cangelosi, Myline Lee, and Melanie Anderson. Boch was the Bonackers' starting third baseman in 2000 and her RBI hit scored the winning run in East Hampton's LI championship victory.

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