Admittedly, expectations were low. Madison was coming into Tottenville with a freshman pitcher in the circle and expecting a Pirates team hungry for revenge after the Knights beat them in last year’s PSAL Class A city title game.
So when Madison left Huguenot after a 7-2 loss to Tottenville in a PSAL Class A crossover softball game on May 3, no one had their head down.
“I’m walking away here ecstatic,” Knights coach Jeff Meltzer said. “I’m disappointed in the sense that we didn’t have enough clutch hits. I mean, we hit and defended when we needed to and made big plays.”
Tottenville blew the game open in the fifth inning when center fielder Victoria McFarland lined a three-run home run over the fence in left field off freshman Cheyenne Tatesure. The Pirates went up 7-0 on the blast and did get eight hits off the ninth grader. But Tatesure showed poise beyond her years, especially given the situation.
“I was expecting her to be very nervous, but she wasn’t,” Madison junior catcher Samantha Rodriguez said. “She was very level-headed the entire game, which was good.”
McFarland said she was actually one of the better pitchers Tottenville has seen in PSAL play, comparing her to Wagner ace Taylor Sarcone. Before the May 3 game, Tatesure had pitched in just 11 innings this year for Madison — none of them on nearly as big a stage.
“We would have loved to win the game, but we had a pitcher who never pitched in this kind of high-level, intense game,” Meltzer said. “Besides one pitch to McFarland she pitched, I thought, a terrific game.”
The coach said he didn’t throw Hill because he felt the game didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. The Pace-bound ace, arguably the city’s top hurler, gave up just two runs, one earned, on seven hits in seven innings in a 5-2 championship game win over Tottenville last year.
Madison did get nine hits off Tottenville sophomore starter Cheryl Lopez and rallied for two runs in the final frame. Hill, who played second base, shortstop Gina Gerone and Rodriguez started off the seventh with singles. Breanna DePasquale drove in Hill with a walk and Danielle Mulle’s sacrifice fly scored Gerone before DePasquale was thrown out at second base on a double play to end the game.
“We fought every inning,” Meltzer said. “We were in it. We hit her. We defended.”