The Garnets knew ahead of time that beating Valhalla, one of the best teams in Section One, was going to be a stretch.
By Melanie Cane
The Garnets knew ahead of time that beating Valhalla, one of the best teams in Section One, was going to be a stretch. Valhalla regularly wins the Section and competes for the State Championship. So Rye’s 13-2 trouncing at home May 5 wasn’t as painful as it sounds. Having a heavy schedule that week, the Garnets sent out their No. 2 pitcher, freshman Katherine Brown, in order to save their No. 1 pitcher, sophomore Molly Herbold, for the games they had a better chance of winning.
As expected, Valhalla came out swinging, scoring four runs in the top of the first. Two runners came home on a two-run triple, and two scored on a two-base error. Rye did not score in the bottom of the first, but they did get on base. Emily Antinozzi got a single and catcher Amanda Yannett reached base on a walk.
Valhalla tacked on three more runs in the top of the second on two hits, a walk, and a wild pitch. Rye scored one in the bottom of the second on two hits. Amelia Haddad singled to right field and Brown sent her home on an RBI triple.
Valhalla came right back with a run again in the top of the third on a single, two bases stolen on a wild pitch, several walks, and a sacrifice fly.
Rye’s only other run came in the bottom of the third. With one out, Antinozzi tripled to centerfield. Maya Fitzgerald drove Antinozzi home with a double.
In the top of the fourth, Valhalla scored two more runs on two hits and several walks. Despite the runs scored, Rye’s fielding was excellent. Sarah Mackay caught a pop-up and shortstop Kiera Nemsick fielded a ground ball and threw the runner out at first.
Rye almost rallied in the bottom of the fourth. Kelsey Chapderlane had an infield single as she beat the throw to first with a great hustle. Haddad hit a clean single and with players on first and second, Nemsick shot a line drive right into the shortstop’s glove. The shortstop lobbed it to second for an easy double play and the next batter struck out.
Valhalla did more damage in the top of the fifth, scoring their last three runs of the game. Despite that Rye’s center fielder, Megan Montato and Nemsick made two terrific catches. Valhalla threatened to add more runs in the top of the sixth, but Brown pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam, by striking out two batters in a row.
RHS Coach Alex Tejera said, “Against a team like that, you have to play perfectly and get a few breaks.”
Even though the game got away from them, once they settled down, Rye’s fielding was flawless and most batters made contact. Tejera commented on how well his team played. “Overall, I thought the girls played hard. The effort was there. I liked the way the team swung the bats. We were aggressive at the plate and put the ball in play. Emily Antinozzi had three hits, including a triple. Maya FitzGerald had an RBI double, and Katherine Brown had an RBI triple.”
Rye’s record is currently 3-10. They lost to Greeley in the bottom of the ninth on May 6. Lauren Dempsey went four for four, with four runs batted in. The Garnets lost to Harrison on May 7, but beat Ossining at home on May 9.