The Lady Big Red trotted off a late-arriving bus at Valley Stream North High School on May 8 with no hitches in its game and a lot of confidence. Seven innings later and behind a fantastic outing from starting pitcher Kristen Sita and stellar defensive play, the Lady Big Red took a 14-4 softball victory over the Lady Spartans.
Sita started and finished the game, pitching seven full innings, allowing only five hits and three earned runs. Sita’s stellar outing is a welcome sight for her coaches, as the freshman is making big leaps in improvement at an opportune point of her high school softball career.
“We’re giving her a lot of opportunity, a lot of innings, and she’s just getting stronger and better with the experience,” Glen Cove coach Angela Zupa said. “She pitched great in eighth grade, so we knew bringing her up that she had potential.”
Although Sita pitched an objectively great game, Glen Cove’s increasingly infamous defensive abilities led by its middle infielders Jaynise Espinal and Micaela Costello reared its head throughout the game and kept Sita ahead. “Our defense is great, now we have a pitcher that could show us what we really can do,” Glen Cove assistant coach Kim Kessel said.
“Their infield is good, I don’t think they made a single error. That hurt us,” VSN coach Dan Tronolone said.
Valley Stream North started the game in the right direction, pushing three runs across in the bottom half of the opening frame. Ashley Toma drew a walk with one out, stole second on the next pitch, which then led to a Jillian Cosme RBI double. Victoria Rossetti followed that up with an RBI triple and later came home off of an error. An added run in the bottom of the third would be the only other offense Valley Stream North could mount.
A multitude of members of Glen Cove’s lineup got involved early and often in this one. Espinal went 3-for-5 including an RBI double that bounced just inches from the top of the wall in the outfield. Emily Villar had a perfect day, collecting five hits in as many at-bats. Angela McCarthy belted an RBI double in the top of the fifth to bring the lead to 9.
Valley Stream North’s starting pitcher was freshman Isabella Matura. She showed glimpses of quality stretches, but the experienced Glen Cove lineup was too much for the underclassman in this matchup. Rossetti came in to relieve in the top of the sixth, and held the surging Big Red offense to just 1 run in 6 outs.
“I told them to keep battling late, let’s get runners on base and get to the top of our order to drive them in,” Tronolone said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.”
A week prior, Valley Stream North beat crosstown rival Valley Stream South 8-4 for some hometown bragging rights. Rossetti pitched a complete game and Cosme homered in the top of the first inning as part of a 3-for-4 day.