It took the Hampton Bays softball team some time to find its identity, but the Baywomen have figured it out — they are playoff contenders.
That’s what happens when a team comes together and starts winning games, in this case three of four, culminating with an away game at Elwood Glenn on April 17. Make no mistake, the Lady Knights are always a tough out at home, despite a 3-7 mark this season.
On the day, though, the locals made short work of them, scoring five runs out of the gate and opening a 15-1 lead before settling for a 16-4 victory. Needless to say, the bats were booming. Shelby Hughes lashed three hits including a double, good for five ribbies. Lily Candelaria, who has been swinging a hot bat all season, went 2-for-3 and batted in two. Tara Brochu went 3-for-5 and scored thee runs. Emma Candelaria was the recipient of the barrage and recorded the win, striking out two along the way.
Hampton Bays, 7-3, is set up nicely now. A game against Miller Place (8-2) on April 25 will give the Baywomen a chance to close the gap. Mattituck (6-4) comes to the South Fork on April 30 for a 4 PM tiff. The Baywomen go to Amityville (0-9) the following day: first pitch is 4 PM.
For some god-awful reason, there are 24 teams in league VII rather than the traditional division of having one or two additional leagues. Whatever the case, several local teams are sitting pretty. Hampton Bays is fifth, Mattituck sixth, and Southampton (5-5) 10th. East Hampton (5-6) is coming alive as well, having won three of four. Westhampton (4-4) and Southold/Greenport (5-7) are also in contention for playoff berths.
Key games ahead: The Lady Mariners take on Westhampton at home on April 27 (4 PM), Southampton is at Mercy on April 28, and East Hampton plays at Mercy (5-6) May 1.
It’s getting serious now.
OK, Pierson/Bridgehampton always has a good baseball team. But this year’s edition of the Whalers has opened the season with 11 straight wins, one of the best starts in history.
If possible, the Whalers are getting better every week. Consider last week’s three-game sweep over Greenport: the combined score was 34-6.
The Whalers toughed out a hard fought 8-2 game on the road in the opener on April 17 by scoring three in the fifth. Sam Warne tossed a seven hitter and struck out eight while going all the way for the win. Tyler LaBorne went four for four, scored twice, and batted in two. Warne drilled two hits and scored three times.
The next day, still on the North Fork, the Whalers exploded for four first inning runs and built up a 16-0 lead after four, and that proved to be the final score. LaBorne, on fire, cracked two dingers and drove in seven runs. Cooper Schiavoni added four hits and four RBIs. Matt Hall twirled the shutout.
Pierson finished off the Porters (0-6) at home on April 20, 10-3. LaBorne took the mound and earned the win in that one.
Next up are two games with Mercy (5-4), the first on the road, on April 25 and 26: both are scheduled for 4:30. A three game set against Stony Brook (2-2) begins April 30.