In a game that West Hempstead expected to win, the Mineola varsity softball team certainly shocked everyone, both on the field and in the stands.
Early in the season, Mineola faced West Hempstead where they suffered a , but the Lady Mustangs made up for their shortcomings Wednesday afternoon at when they blew past the Lady Rams 16-4.
“This is a totally different team than we played in the beginning of the season,” West Hempstead head coach Chris Van Kovics said of Mineola. “They hit the ball very hard.”
Mineola caught a head start in the first inning when Lady Mustangs Tracy Reardon and Kathryn Priolo both racked in one run each. West Hempstead retaliated quickly in the second frame, but their streak was a short one. Mineola struck back and shut out their opponents the remainder of the game.
“I knew my team had it in them the whole time,” Mineola head coach Melissa Skupp said “They really are a very talented group of girls.”
By the bottom of the fifth inning, the home team held a 12-4 lead. With two more runs, Mineola would win by default, but the Lady Mustangs blew past the mercy rule.
Christina Palmenteri broke the inning open with an early run and was quickly followed by catcher Krystie Kern who slammed a three-run homerun to end the game. According to Skupp, Kern played one of her best games to date.
“She did outstanding,” the Mineola coach said. “She blocked so many balls with runners on base, and her homerun was amazing.” Kern's final blast brought the score to 16-4, closing the game two innings early.
Van Kovics felt as a whole, his team could have performed much better on the field.
“They put the ball in play, had good defense, and the pitcher was on the plate,” he said of the Lady Mustangs. “We didn't have all of that going on today. We were never really in the game.”