Valle’s heroics power Construction to quarter finals

Construction's Brittney Rodriguez prepares to deliver a pitch to the plate. Photo by Joseph Staszewski
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Construction Coach Marco Migliaccio couldn’t help but think how fitting it was that Katherine Valle, who was having a monster day at the plate, came up to bat with a chance to clinch the win for her softball team.

“It was perfect,” he said.

And the senior first baseman’s luck continued. Valle grounded the ball to the third base bag to score Daniela Isabella and give Construction (2) a 12-2 run rule win against visiting James Madison (15) at Smokey Oval May 16.

The single capped a 4-for-4 day for Valle, including a triple. She drove in four runs and scored three in her best offensive game of the season. Valle joked about how well she was seeing the ball.

“Apparently pretty well,” she said. “I was just looking to get my best pitch and taking a swing at it.”

Construction (17-1), which advanced to play No. 7 Cardozo in the quarterfinals, put in plenty of good swings all afternoon and took advantage of Madison’s (13-5) mistakes in the field. The Red Hawks broke the game open with a seven-run second inning to make it 8-1. Three of those runs came after a Madison error kept the inning alive and chased starter Grace Sullivan from the game.

The Red Hawks pounded out 13 hits against Knights pitching. Jayleen Ovales had three hits and the speedy Isabella, who scored twice, and pitcher Brittney Rodriguez had two hits apiece.

“I just feel like every time I’m up I can be safe,” Isabella said of her ability to bunt for hits.

Construction didn’t feel exactly safe when it looked at the bracket. The team saw it would likely have to play Madison and then Cardozo in the quarterfinals, just to get back to the final four. The team also hopes that its good pitching throughout the post-season will keep its bats hot.

“The whole lineup can hit,” Migliaccio said. “... I knew this was a year we could make a serious run at [a title.]”

Benjamin Cardozo 6, McKee/Staten Island Tech 5: Crystal Estrada went 3-for-3 with two doubles, three RBIs and a run scored and Daysia Wehder added three hits with two RBIs and a run for No. 7 Cardozo (16-2).

Wehder drove in the winning run during the top of the seventh inning. Shelby Yacovone allowed five runs, one earned on four hits and struck out four.

MSIT is 12-6.

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