Terriers tumble in states – QNS.com

Terriers tumble in states

Their season over, many careers complete, St. Francis Prep softball team did not act like their season was over.
Players smiled and high-fived one another, joking under the hot sun. Amidst the jubilation, Coach Ann Marie Rich cracked they weren’t done yet; a lap around Staten Island wasn’t out of the question if the dugout wasn’t cleaned up.
There were few sad faces among the Terriers after they lost their CHSAA state semifinal to Long Island representative St. John the Baptist and their dynamic junior Olivia Galati, 4-1, at Wagner College Tuesday afternoon.
After all, St. Francis beat out bitter rival Archbishop Molloy for the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens championship four days before, coming from behind in the best-of-three series.
“That was the ultimate goal,” senior ace Krystil Hofmann said. “Coming here was a privilege in itself.”
They did not play poorly either. The Terriers touched up Galati for a run in the fifth - ignited by Nicole Weinman’s booming double to the fence in left center field - the first regulation run she gave up in a remarkable regular season that included five no-hitters and two perfect games.
“Isn’t that nice,” Rich said. “I’m glad it was us.”
The Terriers were heavy underdogs against St. John, an opponent that rolled through the Long Island playoffs, run-ruling St. Anthony’s and Holy Trinity. It was not that easy against St. Francis and Hofmann.
She stranded six runners over the first three innings, and nearly escaped the fourth when three runs would cross. Keyed by third baseman Johanna Rice’s fielding error and two bloop singles, the Cougars loaded the bases with no outs. However, Hofmann induced catcher Kaitlin Crowley into a 1-2-3 double play and appeared to have struck out Galati on a 3-2 fastball on the outside corner.
“That was a big, big [call],” she said. “I feel like if I would’ve gotten out of that inning, we wouldn’t have given up any more runs. That really frustrated me.”
Unfortunately, it was called a ball, and shortstop Courtney Prendergast ripped the next delivery up the middle for a two-run single. With Galati toeing the rubber, that was more than enough cushion.
She struck out 16 Terriers in a brilliant complete-game effort, blowing an overpowering fastball by them, getting them to chase her deceptive rise ball out of the strike zone or slicing the outside corner with a late-moving cut fastball.
”Even when we were in Virginia,” Rich said, referring to their pre-season tournament against elite competition, “we didn’t see [pitching] like this.”
Added Weinman: “She throws hard and all her pitches move.”
Alas, because of the opponent and the dramatic victory over Molloy, the Terriers (18-3) left Staten Island content. They were not happy with the loss. The team captains called a Memorial Day practice in preparation. However, this did not make or break their spring.
“Our season was an uphill battle, no matter what our record said, and it was so satisfying to win the Brooklyn/Queens championship,” Rich said. “To win the state title would’ve been icing on the cake. This was a great year.”

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