Malverne defeated Lynbrook, 8-2, on May 1 in a Conference ABC-V softball game behind a strong performance from Sydney Witowski, both on the mound and at the plate.
Witowski struck out six on the way to her win, bringing Malverne to 8-2 in conference play. The sophomore also helped her own cause as a batter; as the cleanup hitter Witowski smacked a two run double and then was intentionally walked for the remainder of the game.
“I think she came up three different times with the bases loaded,” Malverne coach Jennifer Gibbons said. “She hit a double one of the times and the other two they intentionally walked her, she had a really good game.”
Witowski not only hit and pitched well but had a good day with the glove as well. “Besides the six strikeouts she had a lot of putouts, the one that ended the game was a line drive right back to her,” Coach Gibbons said.”
Witowski has been a workhorse all season for Malverne as she was the pitcher of record for all but three of their contests. Also coming up big was Michelle Kretz, who went 3-4 and scored a run from the two spot in the order.
“She’s been learning to be more of a two hitter and bunting over the lead runner and because of that she’s been getting on base,” Gibbons said of Kratz.
For Coach Gibbons the victory was the most complete team performance of the season. “I think it was one of the best games I’ve seen them play all year actually,” she noted. “It seemed like they came together, they had a lot of confidence to start off the game and it continued throughout.”
For Lynbrook the loss ended an eight-game win streak and was only its second in the last 13, bringing its conference record to 9-2 as the season winds to a close. Coach Peter Toscano has been thrilled with the play of the Lady Owls, who won the first meeting against Malverne, 11-3, on April 18 as Kristy Harvey and Emma Duncliffe each went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Pitcher Bridget Greene got the win that day.
“Malverne played really well, they were better than us in every way,” Toscano said after the May 1 game. “We swung hard but couldn’t overcome them They had the home-field advantage and that helped them a lot. Their pitcher played great.”
All told, the teams have split four meetings. In the first meeting, Lynbrook touched up Witowski for eight runs, capped off by an Erin Connors walk-off single. In the next battle, Malverne returned the favor with a walk-off of its own when a passed ball resulted in the winning run of a 12-11 decision.
Gibbons hopes to continue their momentum as the season ends and playoffs loom. “I want them to continue some of the team type of play and stay focused and retain the ‘get ahead’ type of mentality.”