Written by Coach Amanda Sullivan Friday, 22 June 2012 00:00
The Robert M. Finley Middle School eighth-grade softball team finished their season undefeated with 10 wins and one tie. Pre-season was a time of uncertainty for the Big Red. Many girls that had formerly played softball for the city of Glen Cove did not sign up to participate in the middle school program. Knowing that there was a possibility of the team disbanding, the girls worked together to persuade their peers to join the team; among those players were Cheryse Johnson, Germalis Marte, Brenda Martinez, and Irene Sanchez. The girls worked hard to learn the sport. As a result of fundamental coaching and the experienced girls helping their inexperienced teammates, they were contributing members to an undefeated season.
Glen Cove Softball is in a transition period. Many young players who have played for the Glen Cove city little league program are no longer active participants. Due to the lack of interest in the sport, it has been difficult for the organization to field enough teams to run a softball league. Hopefully with the success of this dynamic eighth-grade team, young players will be motivated to sign up for softball and continue with it at the high school level. Making the varsity softball team is the goal for many student-athletes. The work that they put in at the middle school level, can determine their future success in high school.
The high school has achieved their own set of accomplishments that should inspire young players to join. The varsity softball team was co-conference champions with North Shore High School and Wantagh High School in 2010. In order to have continued success and exceed to a county and state championship, the program needs a strong group of team players like the eighth-grade softball team. Going to the high school with an undefeated record only strengthens the pool of talent that is already there at Glen Cove High School.
This season is encouraging to the middle school and high school coaching staff because this is a sign of good things to come. The coaching staff has worked together to support the program; emphasizing the importance of a team oriented focus and hard work that is significant from grades 7-12. The staff is confident that the success of this season will bring renewed energy to the girls and help pave a road of success.
The eighth-grade team had strong pitching this season. Christina Ng (eighth grade) and Katherine Willson (seventh grade) were a great pitching duo. Christina Ng pitched a perfect game against Oyster Bay and Roslyn. Safire Blissett (seventh grade) was the starting catcher for the team and had an outstanding year at the plate, hitting multiple RBIs and homeruns. The infield included Larissa Ketchem (first base), Laura Bentencurt (second base), Maria Krisch (third base) and Katherine Willson (SS). The outfield consisted of Rianna Cedeno, Kayla Monahan, and Mary Garcia. Lead-off batter Mary Garcia was also a strong offensive player for the team. Hitting a grand slam against Herricks Middle School was one of her many highlights at the plate.
The toughest competition the girls faced this season was Clarke Middle School, who was also undefeated. It was a pitchers duel that went down to the wire. Players, coaches, umpires and parents were on the edge of their seat waiting to see the outcome. Glen Cove scored one unearned run in the top of the fifth and held Clarke to no runs until the bottom of the seventh, when they scored their only run, tying the game 1-1.
Reflecting on this incredible season intensifies the excitement as I watched this team play. I am proud to say I was a part of this undefeated softball team at Finley Middle School. I wish my girls all the best at the high school next year and look forward to the new team for next year.