Momentum from some sparkling defense never carried over to Fieldston’s bats.
The Eagles softball team tagged two runners out at the plate to end the top of the fifth, turned a 2-2-3 double play to halt the seventh and threw out a runner trying to steal second to end the eighth, but couldn’t capitalize. Fieldston stranded five runners, including a leadoff single by Grace Dearden to start the bottom of the seventh.
“It is just some untimely hitting,” Eagles coach Stefanie Gozdziewski said. “There were a few things that could have went either way and it just didn’t go our way this time.”
One of those was Blaise Behar’s go-head, solo homer to right in the top of the ninth that was the difference in a 3-2 extra inning home loss to rival Poly Prep in Ivy League play on April 20.
The Eagles (5-1) argued that the ball bounced over the temporary fencing and should have been a ground-rule double instead. Gozdziewski said she didn’t get a good look at it, but fought the ruling after hearing others balk at the call. The umpires eventually confirmed a homer.
“I think it bounced, but I don’t know if I was close enough to call it,” Fieldston catcher Phoebe Kay said.
Poly junior ace Ava O’Mara allowed two runs on five hits, walked none, hit a batter and struck out 10 in a rematch of last year’s NYSAISAA final won by the Eagles. She fanned the final two batters of the seventh to strand Dearden at second.
“It was more just to really hit my corners,” said O’Mara, who had two hits.. “If I give them anything, they are a good team, they will take it. You have to work the corners and get ahead of the count.”
Fieldston, the three-time defending state champion, did grab the early lead with two runs in the fourth. Jane Leff singled home pinch runner Isabella Caban and freshman shortstop Willa Ferrer, who also made two sparking plays in the field came around on a fielders choice to make it 2-0.
It appeared Poly (5-0) was going to have little lucky against Eagles ace Temma Levis after it drew even in the fifth on a ground ball by Morgan O’Mara, Ava’s sister, and a throwing error. Levis allowed seven hits, walked one and fanned 11. Her defense came up with big plays behind her to keep Poly off the board most of the afternoon.
“Our defense really got tested for the first time today, people were putting the ball jn play,” Kay said. “We had a few great defensive moments.”
The tough loss might not bite Fieldston as much because it lost to Poly 6-2 the first time around last season and went on to beat them in the next two meetings, including the state final.
“We have lost a game a year the last three years,” Gozdziewski said. “So we are saying this is ours and we are moving on.”