Hewlett captures conference title


Hewlett softball made waves this spring and is looking at a promising future.

The Lady Bulldogs rode a 23-game winning streak dating back to last season en route to the program’s first conference title since 2004. Hewlett finished atop the Conference ABC-IV standings at 13-1 and went toe to toe with South Side in a Class A outbracket playoff game on May 9 before falling 2-0.

“Our goal was to win the conference title and they were committed,” Hewlett head coach Vinnie Lospinuso said. “They had a great year.”

After Hewlett’s long winning streak was snapped by Valley Stream South on May 2, the Bulldogs fought back two days later with a 20-13 win against Oyster Bay to clinch the league title. With the score knotted 11-1 entering the top of the seventh, Hewlett erupted for nine runs. The big inning was highlighted by four RBIs from freshman left fielder Emma Blumenstein and three RBIs from junior catcher Lauren Dori.

In the playoff loss, Hewlett ran into a hot pitcher with South Side’s Daniela Waldron tossing a one-hitter with 13 strikeouts. Despite not advancing, Lospinuso said the experience competing in a postseason game was a positive for the seniors and will provide dividends for the returning players.

“It was good for them to get a chance to compete against one of the top teams,” Lospinuso said.

Senior leadership displayed by Dana Feldman, Lindsay Rosen, Julia Bromley and Jessica Silberger was crucial for the successful run, according to Lospinuso.  Feldman had a big final year of high school softball with several big hits as the No. 9 hitter. “She was like a second leadoff hitter for us,” Lospinuso said of Feldman.

Underclassmen also led Hewlett’s rise including eighth-grade pitcher Valarie Liao-Greene, who recorded 11 wins on the mound and hit .500 at the plate with a .780 on base percentage. Liao-Greene recoded six strikeouts in a 5-4 win against Cold Spring Harbor on May 1 that moved Hewlett to 13-0.

Youngsters also came through on offense with Blumenstein hitting .453 with four home runs in her freshman campaign. Freshman right fielder Izzy Martino was clutch delivering three game-winning walk-off hits. Sophomores Dayne Beissel and Kate Geotina along with junior Mai Menache all played integral roles in the Hewlett lineup.

“I had a good blend of young and old,” Lospinuso said. “We had great chemistry.”

Hewlett had a strong infield led by Feldman at second base and junior All-County shortstop Harper Manus, who hit seven home runs. Silberger sported a strong glove at third base to solidify the Bulldogs corner defense.

Lospinuso described the successful 2017 season a complete team effort with every player on the roster playing an important role including bench players Natalie Piperno, Gianna Josiah, Molly Williams and Gupreet Kaur. He also credits his assistant coaches, Anthony Scro and Jimmy Greene for their guidance throughout the spring.

“It’s the best softball team I have ever coached,” Lospinuso said. “Everyone came together on and off the field.”