A difficult recent stretch has Valley Stream Central looking to regroup and salvage a winning softball season in Mike Killgannon’s first year at the helm.
The Lady Eagles will try to get the bats reignited after suffering an offensive drought in road losses to Conference A-VII rivals Malverne, Great Neck North and Roslyn — three opponents they beat the first time around. They produced just 10 runs during the three-game slide after scoring 42 against those same squads in early April.
“We’ve had some slow starts lately,” said Killgannon, who coached the JV program last spring. “We had a big walk-off win against Roslyn the first time around but we knew it was going to be tough to go and win at their place. They’ve got a strong lineup one through nine.”
Central (7-5 overall, 7-3 in A-VII), which won its first six conference games, got some of its confidence back May 2 with a 19-3 home victory over struggling Hempstead. Senior Danielle Myers went 2-for-2 and scored four runs to lead the way.
Freshman Casey Woluewich has been the go-go girl in the pitching circle and struck out seven Hempstead batters in her latest outing. She caught Killgannon’s attention during March tryouts and features a variety of deliveries, including a natural slider to go along with a fastball and change-up. “She throws as hard as anyone in the conference,” Killgannon said.
Alexa, who threw some innings last season, has been solid at first base and anchoring the lineup either in the No. 3 spot or at cleanup. She ranks among Nassau County’s leaders in home runs with five and is batting .558 with 19 RBIs. She leads the team in all three categories. Four of those dingers came in four consecutive games between March 29 and April 8.
Another key to the lineup is Myers, a captain who handles the hot corner on defense. “She’s got a great glove and is a middle-of-the-lineup hitter and our vocal leader,” Killgannon said.
Probably the team’s most consistent bat, according to the coach, has been freshman shortstop Tylun LeSane. She’s hitting .529 with 18 RBIs. “She’s really talented,” he said. “I knew we had to find a spot for her somewhere. She started in the outfield and then moved to shortstop. She’a balanced hitter with a quality glove and arm.” LeSane homered and had five RBIs to lead a 22-4 win at Roosevelt on April 16.
Senior speedster and captain Kaitlin Gabbidon moved from shortstop to center field and covers plenty of real estate, Killgannon noted. “She’s the best overall athlete on the roster,” he said. Senior Arisha Shah starts in left, pitches when needed, and is one of the team’s best hitters. Junior Arianna Picillo is doing a solid job behind the plate.
The Lady Eagles have games remaining against Westbury, Lawrence and Roosevelt. The latter at Firemen’s Field is the finale on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.