Late rally lifts Lewis softball past Townsend Harris

In the top of the seventh, the pitcher on the Townsend Harris softball team helped extend…

By Joseph Manniello

She went from jumping up and down at second base to walking off the mound in tears. In a matter of minutes, Alyssa Wick’s season ended in the worst imaginable way.

In the top of the seventh, the pitcher on the Townsend Harris softball team helped extend her team’s lead to two runs with an RBI double, but that seemed like ancient history minutes later.

“That was the insurance I needed but I knew it wasn’t over,” the hard-throwing junior said. “We had three outs left.”

If only it was two.

All of it, her eight strikeouts, ability to work out of jams, had all been erased. Costly errors by leftfielder Lauren Bilasz and second baseman Danielle Trosa permitted No. 6 seeded Francis Lewis to come from behind and defeat the No. 14 seeded Hawks, 5-4 in a PSAL ‘A’ quarterfinal game Monday afternoon at Cardozo.

It was the ninth straight time since April 2002 that the Patriots have beaten the Hawks, including the fourth time this season. Francis Lewis (23-7, 13-3) will face No. 2 Madison in the semifinals Thursday at Central Park.

“It happens,” said Townsend Harris (10-11, 7-9) head coach Howard Furman. “It should have been the last out but it wasn’t.”

Wick walked Jessica Gerloven to leadoff the seventh. She advanced to second on a wild pitch and then Stephanie Alves singled to center to put runners on the corners with no outs.

Jessica Payero followed with a deep fly ball to left field, which fell out of Bilasz’s glove as Gerloven scattered home to make it 4-3. After a groundout and a strikeout, Kira Lacks came to the plate.

Lacks, who was 0-for-3, including two strikeouts, hit a weak grounder to second base, where Trosa fielded it cleanly.

“I thought it was over,” said Payero, who was standing on second base and representing the winning run.

Trosa’s throw had no chance of being caught and rolled out of play. In came Alves and Payero, as Wick walked off the mound in disbelief.

“This was by far the closest game,” Francis Lewis head coach Manny Solomon said. “We were lucky to win.”

Wick finished league play with 79 strikeouts in 68 innings and her ability to evade threats from the Patriots kept her team in the game, like she had done all season long.

With runners on second and third in the fourth and one out, Wick induced back-to-back groundouts as only one run crossed home, the first for Francis Lewis.

In the fifth, the lead was cut to 3-2 and the bases were loaded with just one out. Wick regained her composure after throwing a wild pitch and allowing three singles, as Tiffany Hernandez struck out looking and Eldina Derisevic popped out to first.

“She’s pitched tremendously well all season long,” Furman said. “She pitched her heart out.”

After wiping the tears from her face, Wick recalled last year’s horrifying ending in the playoffs, when the Hawks were eliminated by New Utrecht, 1-0, on what else, but an error.

Her counterpart, Smith, who was coming off a less than perfect outing in a 14-9 win over Fort Hamilton on June 3, settled down after Townsend Harris scored three runs with two outs in the first inning.

“Her game and our game is to put the ball over the plate,” Soloman said. “Let them hit, we’ll do the fielding.”

Wick, who said “it will be awhile, possibly till next season” before she gets over this one, was able to accomplish the first two with ease, but unfortunately for her and Townsend Harris, the third proved too difficult.

South Bronx 15, Jamaica 3. Pitcher Samantha Ramautar went 2-for-3 in defeat for Jamaica (8-7, Queens III-B) in a ‘B’ second round playoff game last Thursday at the South Bronx.

Newtown 7, Bronx HS of Science 2. Kathy Gorman went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs for Newtown last Thursday in a ‘B’ second round playoff game at Flushing-Meadow Corona Park.

Francis Lewis 14, Fort Hamilton 9. Jessica Payero went 2-for-4 with 5 RBIs for Francis Lewis in an ‘A’ second round playoff game last Thursday at Benjamin Cardozo HS.

Francis Lewis 5, Townsend Harris 4. Jessica Payero went 2-for-4 with a RBI for Francis Lewis (12-3, Queens A) in an ‘A’ quarterfinal Monday at Benjamin Cardozo HS.

Bayside 7, Herbert Lehman 3. Annel Sanchez struck out nine in a complete game win and went 2-for-4 for Bayside Monday in a quarterfinal ‘A’ playoff game at Madison HS.

Beach Channel 17, Jane Adams 6. Samantha Lebron went 3-for-3 with 5 RBIs and a home run for Beach Channel (15-0, Queens I-B) in a ‘B’ quarterfinal playoff game Monday at Jamaica HS.

Newtown 5, Art & Design 4. Geselle Perez hit a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh to drive in Katie Gorman for Newtown (25-9) in a PSAL ‘B’ quarterfinal Monday at Jamaica HS.

John Bowne 24, Franklin K. Lane 16. Chantel Biscette struck out six in seven innings and went 3-for-5 with a home run for Bowne (13-6) in a ‘B’ quarterfinal at Bayside High.

— Mitch Abramson contriubed to this story

Reach contrubiting writer Joseph Manniello by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

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