Sure, there were some costly errors. And yes, Bushwick had its fair share of mental lapses. But from where the Tigers have come from, an 11-5 loss to PSAL powerhouse Cardozo in a crossover league game last Friday afternoon was not a bad result at all.
“They made me proud,” coach Pat Moyse said.
Just two years ago, Bushwick (2-1 Brooklyn A) was 2-15. Now, the Tigers are hanging around – they were within 9-5 in the sixth inning – with a team that went to the Class A semifinals last year. Not too shabby.
Starting pitcher Maria Guerna was dealing over the first three innings before a strained muscle in her back that she’s been fighting all year acted up. In the fourth, she uncharacteristically walked four batters and gave up five runs to Cardozo (2-0 Queens A-I). The next inning, after she walked the leadoff hitter, Moyse had to pull her. It didn’t come without resistance.
“She didn’t want to come out,” he said. “I said, ‘No, you’re coming out.’”
Fellow senior Jennifer Del Rosario filled in and did an able job keeping Bushwick in the game. The Tigers scored three runs in the sixth off Judges backup starter Alyssa Annicaro, who has been filling in for her sick sister, Amanda, to make it 9-5.
“It was too little, too late,” Moyse said.
In the top of the seventh, Cardozo tacked on two insurance runs and Bushwick would not score again. And that’s OK. The Tigers now believe they can hang in with the city’s best teams and since James Madison is in their division that’s a positive thing. Moyse said he would love to win a division title, but he’s not quite ready to say his team can top the Knights.
“In reality, though, I don’t think there’s another team in Brooklyn that can compete with us outside of Madison,” he said.
That two-win season was Moyse’s first coaching softball at Bushwick and last year the Tigers went 9-8 and beat Newtown in the first round of the playoffs. Moyse gives a lot of credit to his staff, led by assistant Robert Cortes. They do things professionally at Bushwick – there’s a public-address system and announcer who gives the starting lineups and who is coming up. There’s a magnetic scoreboard and the grass field is well maintained. The Tigers are fundamentally sound, right down to how they wear their pinstripe, Yankees-like uniforms.
Moyse hopes his squad as viewed as an up and coming one in the PSAL. There’s just one issue: Bushwick has six seniors and they all start. That next level of success has to come soon.
“I want to do it now,” Moyse said.