Streak anew – Wolverines win!

Streak anew – Wolverines win!

Newfield’s Riley Firenze tries to score on a wild pitch as Northport pitcher Jamie Gould covers the plate. Photo by Steven Zaitz

By Steven Zaitz

Getting off the bus, deuces were not very wild for the Newfield softball team last Friday.

The Wolverines dropped their first two games by a combined score of 20-6 and were in an early 2-0 hole against Northport on the road. It has been a full trip around the sun of futility for the Lady Wolverines as they had lost 14 games in a row dating back to last season — a streak that started exactly one year prior,  April 5, 2023 with a 12-9 loss to crosstown Centereach.

To make matters worse, the Wolverines ran themselves out of a potential big inning in the first when they had runners on first and third with no outs but failed to score.

But a three-run third, ignited by ninth-place hitter Emily Wall, gave Newfield its first lead of the season. The very long and ugly worm that was this 14-game losing streak was starting to turn. 

Senior starting pitcher Riley Firenze, who wears the number two on her back, shut the Lady Tigers down for the rest of the game, allowing only two hits after the second inning and striking out four. Newfield tacked on four runs late and secured a 7-2 victory – their first since starting the 2023 season 2-0.

“Getting this win was tremendous for our team and for the future of this season,” said Wolverine head coach Amanda Catapano. “Sometimes all it takes is that one win to get back into the groove and back to playing the softball that we know our girls can play.”

In addition to her monumental mound work, Firenze was the hitting star of the game. She had two doubles and a triple against Lady Tiger starting pitcher Jamie Gould. 

“I enjoy watching our team work hard,” said Firenze. “We are growing and improving every day.”

Despite taking the losses against Lindenhurst and Connetquot, Firenze’s stuff was on-point against the Tigers.

“Riley was locked-down on the mound after allowing those two early runs,” said Catapano. “She showed great speed and spin on the mound and she and Teresa Cotty called a wonderful game behind the plate helping to keep Northport batters on their heels using many off-speed pitches at the perfect times.”

Cotty, the cleanup-hitting catcher, had two hits and two RBIs on the day.

For Northport, only two of Gould’s runs allowed were earned, but she dealt with a lot of traffic on the basepaths, giving up 11 hits. 

Left Fielder Lilly McCabe had a two-RBI single that knocked in Jillian Ryan and Gabby Smith-Centero. 

Gabby Weissman had a pinch-hit single in the seventh inning and Kiera Murphy made a sparkling play in right field to end the third inning. 

The Tigers had another setback on Saturday against West Babylon, but they hope to eclipse their three-game skid on Monday against Smithtown East. Newfield plays on Thursday against Sachem North, looking for two wins in a row. 

– Photos by Steven Zaitz