By MIKE SMITH
Tuckahoe-Bronxville’s quarterfinal game against Yonkers Montessori at the Cottle School on May 27 may have been a wild affair but, when the dust settled, the Tigers were just where they were supposed to be, headed into the Class B semis with a victory under their belts.
A furious Eagles rally threatened the status quo, though, as eighth-seeded Yonkers Montessori scored seven runs in the final two innings to make a game of it, falling just short as
top-seeded Tuckahoe-Bronxville came away with an 8-7 win.
Tuckahoe’s Cassie McGrath was stellar through her first five innings on the mound, recording eight of the team’s first nine outs on strikeouts. Late in the game, though, the freshman hurler ran into some trouble as the Yonkers bats began to catch up to her.
“Early on, she was doing a great job of mixing her speeds,” Tuckahoe coach John McGrath said. “But she just ran out of gas.”
Luckily for Tuckahoe-Bronxville fans, the Tigers built up enough of a lead to withstand the late charge. Senior Laura Fitzpatrick plated the first Tuckahoe run in the third inning,
singling McGrath home. McGrath helped her own cause at the plate, driving in a pair of runs on the day, Briana Nardone also knocked in two runs for Tuckahoe-Bronxville.
Defensively, the Tigers looked sharp, especially considering McGrath’s early-inning dominance left them with little to do in the field. McGrath was especially pleased with a first-and-third play that nailed what would have been Yonkers’ first run of the game at home plate.
“That’s something I worry about sometimes,” John McGrath said. “But the girls today did an excellent job of keeping themselves in the game and did a very good job.”
Although the Tigers nearly gave away a big lead against Yonkers, McGrath said, the squad may benefit from the close contest and use it as motivation in the next round of the playoffs.
The Tigers, who finished the regular season with a record of 15-2, remember all too well what happened last year when their undefeated team lost to Haldane in the Class C finals.
“I think it was good because it tested us,” he said. “I think for a lot of the year, and last year, we hadn’t been tested.”
With the win, top-seeded Tuckahoe-Bronxville advances to the semifinals where the team will host North Salem on May 29.
“I don’t know much about them,” McGrath said. “But I’m sure they’re good.”