By Bill Landon
Both teams stranded runners on base after several innings, but the Smithtown West softball team left fewer players stranded, to pull out a 4-0 victory over visiting Newfield on a cold, dreary Tuesday afternoon in a League II matchup.
Newfield senior Jennifer Sarcone struck first with a deep shot to left center for a standup double but was stranded at the bottom of the first.
Smithtown West sophomore Tara Killeen drove in senior Kassie Furr on a sacrifice fly to give her team a 1-0 lead to start the second inning, and the duo did it again in the top of the third when Killeen smacked a fly ball to right field to drive in Furr to take a two-run advantage.
“I didn’t think we came out with as much energy as we normally do,” Newfield pitcher Tabitha Butler said. “We should’ve got more lift on the ball. All we were doing is driving balls into the ground right at them so we weren’t’ finding the gaps.”
Smithtown West head coach Dave Miller sent in freshman right fielder Madison Mulder to pinch run at first, who stole second base on the very next pitch, but again, the Bulls stranded a runner on base.
Newfield head coach Jessica Palmaccio said her team didn’t execute when the opportunity presented itself.
“They were exactly what we thought they would be,” Palmaccio said. “They’re a good team. We’re a good team, but we didn’t do what we needed to do today. That’s all.”
Smithtown West lit up the scoreboard once more when Furr drilled a hit to rightfield to drive in sophomore Kaitlyn Loffman to edge ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth.
“We came out knowing what to expect and we came out ready to play with good communication,” Smithtown West senior pitcher Kim Plaspohl said. “I felt confident because I knew my team would back me up.”
Furr, who defensively collected two line drives in the dirt to stop both, was there for her pitcher.
“I just knew I needed to support my pitcher and a play like that could mean the game,” she said. “So I knew when it was hit I needed to do whatever I had to do to get to it.”
Newfield’s Butler thought that her movement could’ve been better to help her team not just from the plate but from the mound.
“I didn’t hit all of my spots and that’s where they took advantage of it,” she said. “That’s where they got their hits.”
Killeen, in scoring position, was driven home by Smithtown West sophomore Amber Meystrik’s bat to take a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
“Their energy was more than ours was today,” Sarcone said. “We had opportunities today that we didn’t take advantage of.”
Newfield threatened late, but couldn’t capitalize and fell to Smithtown West to drop to 2-3, while the Bulls improve to 2-1.
“I thought the girls played very, very well,” Miller said. “My pitcher was great. She didn’t walk anybody and our short stop [Furr] played better than I’ve ever seen her play. She’s a four-year varsity player.”
Smithtown West was scheduled to travel to Riverhead on Wednesday while Newfield was slated to host Copiague.