Offense sparks Hewlett turnaround


Hewlett avenged a loss to North Shore in the Conference ABC-III softball opener and won for the third time in four games, 10-5 at home last Monday behind four RBIs apiece from junior Sammi Kenny and sophomore Val Elefante.

“If we keep hitting like this, we’re going to make a push for the playoffs,” coach Vinnie Lospinuso said after the Lady Bulldogs improved to 3-4. “We’re going pretty good right now,” he added. “We’ve been competitive in every game but one.”

Hewlett sophomore pitcher Margaret Feldman continued to be a workhorse in the circle, scattering five hits and three walks while striking out four. “She’s pitched every inning and come a long way,” Lospinuso said of Feldman, who won 10 games at the JV level last spring. “She’s consistently around the plate and not hurting us with walks.”

Feldman has looked comfortable from opening day, Lospinuso said, when she walked only one and struck out five in a 3-2 loss at North Shore. The winning run was scored on an error. “We’d like to have that game back,” he said. “I was confident we’d come back and beat them today.”

The Lady Bulldogs jumped on North Shore pitcher Olivia Knox for seven runs in the second inning to set the tone. Elefante had the big hit — a bases-loaded triple — and scored on Kenny’s two-run double. Senior Amy Vitha also knocked in a pair of runs in the outburst. The offense added a run in the sixth on Elefante’s RBI single, and two more in the sixth on a Kenny single.

Kenny, who plays second base, is having a great year so far, Lospinuso said, with a .305 average and 10 RBIs to tie for the team lead with Vitha, a returning All-County shortstop hitting .400 (10-for-25) through seven games.

Kenny’s biggest hit — as well as the team’s in 2013 — came April 15 when she capped a thrilling 16-14 win over Roslyn with a walk-off grand slam. The Lady Bulldogs scored six times in their final at-bat. “She drilled the ball into the left-center gap,” Lospinuso said of the winning hit. “It was a wild game and a great win. We were up 6-0, then down 10-6 and 14-10. Everything you can think of happened.”

Sophomore outfielder Elisha Mahoney, who is batting .333 out of the No. 9 hole, drove in three runs with a triple and a single. She also provided the lone bright spot in a recent loss to Valley Stream North, slugging a homer. “She’s been getting on and stealing bases,” Lospinuso said. “It’s like we have two leadoff hitters.”

Junior Carly Rivlin is setting the offensive table from the leadoff spot and also hitting above .300. In the power spots are Vitha and senior Nicole Rizzo, and both drove in two runs in an 8-4 victory over Carle Place on April 11. Rizzo has homered twice.

“We’re scoring a lot more runs than we did early in the season,” Lospinuso said.