Sewanhaka peaking at right time


After a disappointing start to the 2013 season, Sewanhaka is starting to make some noise on the softball diamond. The Lady Indians dropped their first four games of the year, but turned things around by running off a string of four wins over their next five contests.

In a 9-3 road victory over West Hempstead on April 17, freshman Jancarla Herrera went 4-for-4, scored three runs and knocked in a pair to lead Sewanhaka (4-3 in Conference ABC-IV.) Rachel Wisniewski, whose batting just under .600, was 2-for-4 with three RBI. Senior Taylor Filippi earned the win for the Lady Indians.

Despite the slow start, head coach Deirdre Kelly remained optimistic about her team. “We weren’t getting timely hitting, and had some struggles in the circle, but I knew we had the ability.” Kelly said. “The bats are starting to come around. It’s just a matter of putting it all together. We’ve worked a lot on technique at the plate. We want the girls to simplify things. If the girls make good contact, good things are going to happen.”

Kelly says that Wisniewski has been the key to the team’s resurgence. The senior catcher, who has earned All-Conference honors the past two seasons, has been spectacular both behind the plate and in the batter’s box. She leads the team in extra-base hits, runs scored, RBI, and batting average. Wisniewski threw out eight runners on the basepaths during the team’s recent hot streak.

Filippi, who hadn’t pitched since playing junior varsity ball, took over in the circle in the fifth game of the season and got the Lady Indians in the win column with a 13-5 victory over visiting Manhasset. Filippi went the distance, scattering seven hits. She also got it done at the plate, going 4-for-4 with three runs scored. Wisniewski was 3-for-5 with a triple, double, and four RBI.

With Filippi pitching, Kelly had to adjust her defense. Herrera, who may be the conference’s best defensive center fielder, moved to shortstop, and senior Cassidy Johnson took over in center. The pair has been outstanding in their new positions. Johnson was 2-for-3 with two runs scored in a 9-4 home win against Valley Stream South.

Kelly is getting terrific defense from the right side of the infield. She expected to use a platoon system at first base with senior Kari Mavrovouniotis and junior Jenna Sanfilippo, but Mavrovouniotis volunteered to give second base as a shot, and the move has given Sewanhaka strength at both first and second base. Sanfilippo has been a tough out at the plate as well.

Kelly is excited about the second half of the season. “If we can get more consistent pitching, and timely hitting, I think we have a very good shot at earning a spot in the playoffs,” Kelly said. “We’re getting hot at the right time of the season.”

The Lady Indians host Wheatley this Friday at 4:30 p.m. Sewanhaka won 17-2 when the teams met earlier in the season.