It wasn’t that Francis Lewis lost its confidence. It was unceremoniously taken away.
The Patriots threatened right away May 28 when Samantha Lallave and Bianca Concepcion bunted for singles to lead off the game. A double steal got them to second and third with nobody out. The momentum from an upset of Construction in the second round was palpable.
“I thought, ‘OK, this is where we’re going to break out,’” Lewis Coach Bryan Brown said.
But then Cardozo ace Amanda Annicaro got Tina Vigoa to pop out to catcher Sam Mersten. Amanda Mangual popped out back to Annicaro. And Katherine Doherty grounded out to first baseman Anna LaBoccetta to leave the runners stranded in scoring position.
With a prime opportunity wasted, No. 4 Cardozo would score three runs the following inning and No. 12 Lewis would eventually fall, 8-1 in the PSAL Class A softball quarterfinals Friday in Bayside.
“We met a better team today,” Brown said. “They were a better team.”
The Patriots (9-7) didn’t necessarily think that coming into the game. After all, they held a four-run lead on the Judges (14-2) in their second meeting this season before coughing it up late. Lewis, which was in every game against good teams all season, believed it could win Friday and advance to the semifinals.
“We were definitely confident,” said Concepcion, who scored the Patriots’ only run on a wild pitch in the sixth. “I don’t really know what happened.”
What Brown feared did. He knew his team would have to keep Cardozo from big innings to win. That didn’t happen in the second inning when Lewis made a pair of errors directly leading to three Cardozo runs. It got worse in the fourth when the Judges scored five runs off starter Priscilla Lallave.
“We weren’t going to match them bat for bat,” Brown said. “Errors hurt us today.”
Lewis had just four hits, only two of them after those bunt singles in the first inning. Katherine Doherty had the other one. She’s one of the reasons why Brown is looking forward to the future. The center fielder is a freshman, as is Samantha Lallave. Priscilla Lallave and Concepcion are sophomores. Though Lewis will lose key seniors like Tina Vigoa, Brittany Ramos, Amanda Mangual and Vicki Sopasis, that kiddie core will be together for awhile.
“I’m definitely excited to see what we’re gonna do,” Concepcion said. “We gotta learn how to adapt [without the seniors].”
This season’s trip to the quarters was actually a surprise in itself. Brown was expecting a rebuilding year with the graduation of ace Tina DeLuca, who now pitches at SUNY Canton, and the loss of seniors Theresa Hernandez and Sue Celentano, both of whom left the team.
“We thought we were going to be terrible this year,” Concepcion said with a laugh.
Not so. Instead, Lewis made the final eight and had a good shot at making the semifinals.
“When you’re the 12 seed and you get this far, hey,” Brown said. “Not many teams finished one game above .500 [in the regular season] and came back like we did. We have stuff to grow on.”
©2010 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.