The Adlai Stevenson softball team was loud and alive, every member up and cheering. New Dorp had just scored twice in the top of the six to take a one-run lead, but Stevenson was threatening in the bottom of the inning.
“It woke us up on the bench,” senior pitcher Yanilka Tejeda said. “We were trying to start a rally.”
That they did, getting back-to-back singles from Nathaly Campos and Linoska Suarez to put runners on first and second with no outs in the bottom half. But it never came to fruition. Two excellent defensive plays by the 26th-seeded Central Cougars short circuited No. 10 Stevenson’s last threat and sealed a 3-2 victory in the PSAL Class A softball second round in the Bronx Monday.
“A little of their experience paid off at the end,” Stevenson coach Rick Ouimet said of New Dorp. … “Player for player that is about as evenly matched a game as you are going to find. … They came up big when they had too.”
With Stevenson threatening in the sixth, Kimberly Guillen grounded a ball to Elizabeth Budge at third, who made a dash to the bag and was able to apply a tag on a sliding Campos. Tiffany Luyanda then grounded a ball to second baseman Christa Golden who tagged Guillien going to second and threw to first in time to get Luyanda to end the inning.
“They play in a great [division],” Ouimet said. “They’ve seen phenomenal softball all year long. They are not going to get rattled.”
Stevenson (13-5) took an early 2-0 lead in the second. Guillen and Luyanda picked up back-to-back doubles to lead off the innings. An RBI ground out by Edaliz Morales and a passed ball brought home the runs. Tejeda, who allowed two earned runs on four hits and struck out nine, cruised through five innings, allowing just a run on a sac fly in the fourth.
In the sixth it appeared she would survive a leadoff walk to Angelica Forlenza, getting the next two outs and it appeared the third as well. Brittany McGowen popped a ball up behind the pitcher’s mound and to the right of first base.
“I thought it would be out,” Tejeda said.
Instead the ball fell in, opening the door for New Dorp (7-12). Ashley Mullarkey singled up the middle to tie the score at 2. Again the inning appeared to be over, but Suarez, the first baseman, had a one hop throw from third pop out of her glove to allow New Dorp to take the lead.
“She probably is going to make that play 49 out of 50 times,” Ouimet said.
When the game was over there were plenty tears and hugs amongst the Stevenson players. The squad, which features seven seniors, finished tied for second in Bronx A and had grown extremely close and dedicated to each other and sport throughout the year.
“The commitment they made to each other, to their team,” Ouimet said. “No one can ever take that away from them.”