Calhoun tops Baldwin in quarterfinals


A young and talented duo in the pitching circle and arguably the deepest batting order coach Jason Boland’s written on a lineup card has Calhoun in the Nassau Class AA softball semifinals.

The sixth-seeded Lady Colts knocked off No. 3 Baldwin in dominant fashion last Friday, 13-0, as Jennifer Imhof, Heather Berberich and Keri McLaughlin drove in three runs apiece to back a one-hit, 10-strikeout gem from sophomore lefthander Lindsay Roman.

Senior standout Alex Burns, who finished her career with 40 home runs, had the lone hit for the Lady Bruins, a double to left-center in the bottom of the fourth to put two runners in scoring position with none out. Roman, working with a 5-0 lead, got out of her only jam with a pair of infield pops sandwiched around a strikeout.

“We’re so happy with how we played,” Boland said. “Baldwin has knocked us out of the playoffs before and their lineup can be so tough to get through. We knew we had to keep their big guns quiet and stretch our lineup one through nine to give ourselves a chance.”

Senior leadoff Christine Argentieri went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and one RBI for Calhoun (15-3), which faces No. 7 Farmingdale, which upset second-seeded Massapequa, in this week’s best-of-three semifinals. Senior pitcher Yaya Spencer struck out 10 for Baldwin, which finished 10-8.

“We came into the playoffs winning six of our last seven and feeling pretty good,” Baldwin coach Tom Llewellyn said. “Their pitching is very strong and we knew that coming in. But when you make five errors and don’t make plays on a few other balls, there’s not much you can do to overcome it.”

Calhoun, which defeated No. 11 Syosset, 7-1, in the opening round behind freshman pitcher Meghan Vecchione and senior Kayla Pilotti’s three-run double, scored an unearned run against Spencer in the top of the first when sophomore Hannah Aievoli worked a bases-loaded walk. 

It stayed 1-0 until the fourth when the bottom of the order sparked a three-run rally. The Lady Colts batted around and got singles from Roman, junior Taylor Baumann and Argentieri, combined with three walks and a key error.

“Down five runs, you know you’ve got your work cut out,” Llewellyn said. “They did their job and capitalized on our mistakes. We say it all the time that the bottom of the order wins games, and their 7-8-9 scored five runs between them.”

Calhoun broke things open in the fifth. McLaughlin’s two-run single made it 7-0 and then Berberich followed with a three-run homer to right — her sixth dinger of the year — for a double-digit cushion. Imhof belted a three-run homer to right in the sixth for the final margin. 

“Our recipe all year has been power and pitching,” Boland said. “It’s a luxury to have two of the best pitchers in Class AA. Added up together, Lindsay and Meghan have over 200 strikeouts. We’ve been able to keep them both fresh and also give opponents a different look.”