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Bayside routs Van Buren, 11-1 in opener

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Strange because Bayside and Van Buren were playing their Queens III softball opener in football weather. Strange because sisters Jasmine and Sapphire Edwards were pitching against each...

By Dylan Butler

The word of the day Thursday at the Bayside Athletic Field: strange.

Strange because Bayside and Van Buren were playing their Queens III softball opener in football weather. Strange because sisters Jasmine and Sapphire Edwards were pitching against each other for the first time.

And it was especially strange to see a game between two of the top teams in the city shortened by a mercy rule as the Commodores trounced the VeeBees, 11-1, in five innings.

“It was pretty weird, but I was really excited,” said Sapphire Edwards. The Bayside sophomore had six strikeouts, walked three and allowed just one run on three hits to pick up the win. “The whole team was suped up.”

And it showed, especially at the plate where the Commodores tattooed Jasmine Edwards, one of the top pitchers in the city, to the tune of 11 runs on 11 hits. Of course the Van Buren defense didn’t help matters any as they extended a couple of innings with costly errors.

“After no one was catching ball behind her, Jasmine tried to strike out everyone,” said Van Buren coach John Felicciardi. “If you don’t catch the ball against a team like Bayside, you’re dead.”

Bayside (3-3, 1-0 Queens III) jumped on Jasmine Edwards — who admitted she felt a bit tight because of the cold temperatures — with two runs on three hits in the first inning. Theresa Mehlig and Sam Grabkowitz each had RBI singles.

“In the first inning, I had too much energy,” Jasmine Edwards said. “I was just throwing the ball instead of pitching.”

In the second inning, Kim Hatten and Mehlig put the Commodores up 5-0 on back-to-back jacks. Hatten hit a two-run shot to left field and Mehlig followed with a solo dinger to right-center.

“I expected [us to hit like that] because one through nine can put the bat on the ball,” said Bayside coach Steve Piorkowski. “Our No. 2 [batter] hit a home run today and our No. 7 [batter] can also hit that way. It’s tough to get outs through my lineup.”

A combination of muscle tightness and fatigue caught up with Jasmine Edwards in the fourth inning as Bayside scored six runs to blow the game wide open. Justine Kraus scored on back-to-back wild pitches. Mehlig and Talia Fromm followed with consecutive RBI singles. Sapphire Edwards reached on a two-base throwing error, scoring two more runs. Edwards eventually came around to score on another wild pitch by her big sister.

“It was so strange because I never pitched against her,” Jasmine Edwards said. “It was different. At home, we always fight as sisters, so I guess now we can fight in a different way. It was good.”

After winning 33 straight before losing to Port Richmond, 1-0, in extra innings in the PSAL championship game last year, Van Buren has lost its first two games of the year. But Felicciardi said it is too early to push the panic button.

“All but one of the non-league games I scheduled were rained out. We’re a little rusty,” he said. “We’re going to get better and improve on things from game to game. But we’re not happy, believe me.”

With the game out of reach and two out in the top of the fifth, Sapphire Edwards faced her sister, who scored Van Buren’s lone run on a wild pitch in the fourth inning, for one last time.

She caught Jasmine looking to end the game, striking out her older sister for the second time.

“I can’t believe I struck her out twice,” Sapphire Edwards said.

It was one of those games for Bayside. It seemed the only person who didn’t think the final outcome was strange was Piorkowski.

“I’m not trying to boast, but I’m not surprised,” he said. “We have a very good team and we’ve played an excellent non-league schedule. I carefully select who we play.”

John Adams 16, Beach Channel 4. Michelle Tusa struck out 13, Rita Limitone hit a grand slam and Natasha Kirkland also went yard for the Spartans (2-0, 1-0 Queens II).

Richmond Hill 16, Far Rockaway 1. Haide Melendez fanned nine for Richmond Hill (2-5, 1-0 Queens II).

Bayside 5, Townsend Harris 0. Edwards hurled a no-hitter with six strikeouts to lead the Commodores in a non-league game Monday. Allie Falco was 3-for-3 for Bayside.

Bryant 12, Great Neck South 9. The Owls rallied from a five-run hole with a six-run rally with two outs in the top of the fifth. Jackie Rodriguez had a double and two RBIs and Ally Stamatiades added a two-run home run for Bryant (8-0).

Cardozo 20, Hillcrest 0. Lindsay Rhodes pitched a five-inning no-hitter with 10 strikeouts and Carrie Seidel hit for the cycle with four RBIs to lead the Judges in their Queens III opener. Erica Choit added two hits and two RBIs for Cardozo (3-0).

Newtown 16, Long Island City 3. Joneidy Carreno had two hits and three RBIs and Diana Martinez went 3-for-3 with three runs for the Pioneers. Leanne Figueroa went the distance to earn her first career win for Newtown (2-0, 1-0 Queens I).

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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