VSC battling for conference lead


Valley Stream Central’s softball team has grown accustomed to scoring plenty of runs this spring but not so much allowing their opponents to do so as the Eagles lost a track meet to Uniondale by a final score of 21-20 last Friday.

“We came out so strong, and we had a couple of big innings early, but I kind of felt like we maybe took our foot off the gas a little bit,” said VSC coach Steve Sharkey. “We made some uncharacteristic errors and threw the ball around a little bit. We need to turn the season around. This loss will hopefully spark a six, seven-game winning streak.”

After starting the year with five straight wins, the Eagles have split their last four games. The loss allowed Uniondale to overtake them for first place in Conference 6 with a few weeks remaining in the regular season.

“We haven't been on the other side of too many of these high-scoring affairs like this,” Sharkey said. “Everybody felt that. We were in a good position. Nobody was happy about it. We are heartbroken.”

As bothered by the loss the Eagles may be, their dejection now is a clear indication of how much they’ve raised expectations. After finishing with a sub .500 record last season, competing for a conference championship once again suddenly doesn’t feel so far away in VSC, with its 7-2 start to the season.

Averaging 16.8 runs per game, a lot of the optimism for the Eagles has come from their offense. In six games this season, they’ve scored 20 runs or more, with senior captains Elize Quezada and Lexxie Adames setting the table at the top of the order and junior catcher Isabella Donowski in the middle of the lineup to drive them in.

“They've really taken on the role of being those leaders,” Sharkey said. “They work with the younger girls and settle the team when we start to feel a little bit of pressure.”

The Eagles are also receiving strong work with the circle from the pitching tandem of eighth grader Jaskiran Kaur and sophomore Kimmy Wong. Kaur, especially, has proven to be valuable. With a quiet yet assertive presence in the circle, the youngster is showing leadership qualities well beyond her years.

“She's got a lot of fire out there,” said Sharkey. “When the fielders sometimes get a little anxious during an inning, or we’ve been throwing the ball around, she calls team meetings on her own. In her own way, she's definitely got the attention of her teammates and definitely has the material of a future captain.”

Along with Kaur, the Eagles also have eighth graders Sierra Roman and Gianna Santana making their debuts with the varsity, setting the stage for years to come with a young corps that’s still developing.

While the future already appears to be here in VSC, the Eagles are still focused on the present as they’ll take on Hewlett and Friends Academy this week.