The lone defeat last season was against Bryant HS, a team that knows how to dial up Bayside's weaknesses. On Monday, the schools took turn turns beating each other up before Bayside prevailed 15-11 at home under a heavy rainfall that managed to delay the Mets game but did nothing to get in the way of this softball game.Bayside (5-4) took advantage of an abysmal pitching performance from the normally resolute Nina Chao, exploding for nine runs in the fourth inning. The runs weren't manufactured so much from hits as they were from Chao's wildness and errors in the field. Chao entered the game eighth in the league in strikeouts with 148 and third in wins with six, but Monday she needed MapQuest to locate home plate, and she walked five batters and tossed four wild pitches before she was taken out of the game. Bryant dropped to 6-3 with the loss.Bayside's starting pitcher, Kasey Parente, wasn't any more accurate, but perhaps she was more persistent. After being removed from the game in the third inning because of fatigue, she was inserted back into the game in the fifth inning. Mixing a fastball with a deceptively low breaking ball, she fought her way out of trouble to get the win."It can get a little uncomfortable coming out of the game and then going back in, but when I came back in I had to do what I had to do to get the win," said Parente, who played third base last season. "The rain made the game a little difficult, and I'm still gaining experience pitching. Last year, Annel (Sanchez, now a freshman at New York Tech) pitched in like every game, so I'm still learning. It feels good to beat Bryant, though."To ease her into the season, Piorkowski, who runs his own pitching school, will often sub Parente out, put in Dayna Navatta, and reinsert her after she has caught her wind. Parente estimated that four times this season she has started a game only to leave and finish at the end.In a 9-8 loss to Bryant April 11, she gave up seven runs. On Monday, she actually had a no-hitter through three innings until senior catcher Damaris Stevens slammed a 3-run homer to center field in the sixth that made it 15-8 Bayside. Bayside led 13-2 through four innings before Bryant, which reached the second round of the playoffs last season, went on a scoring binge to make it 15-10 in the fifth on mostly wild pitches and fielding errors."That's been our story the whole season," Piorkowski said. "We've had to battle for everything. Once we get a lead, we have to learn how to maintain it. Things are looking up though. If we win the rest of our games we should make it back to the playoffs."After trailing 2-0, Bayside took the lead for good on a 3-run homer by sophomore centerfielder Vicky Nunez that rolled onto Bayside's soccer field behind the outfield in the first inning. Once Nunez saw the ball hit the ground and take off like a rocket, she knew she was home free."I was trying to get around the bases as fast as I could," said Nunez, who played left field on last year's team. "The thing with this team is that when we give up a lot of runs, we sometimes get down. We need to keep our heads up more and continue to play hard. We should never give up."Reach reporter Mitch Abramson by E-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 130.
©2005 Community News Group
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