By Colin Leon Guerrero
After losing twice on their home field, The JFK Islanders finally found their groove as they defeated the Sanchez Sharks 9-6 at the JFK field, gaining confidence and building momentum as the girls gear up for the second half of the season.
The Sharks nearly pulled the upset at the top of the sixth when the Islanders defense had a couple of errors off a MyKayla Edwards single, allowing Melba Nennis and Janey Nauta to steal home making the score 8-6. Islanders’ pitcher Audrey George came up huge though striking out Monica Mendiola killing the Sharks momentum.
George would make a big play for the Islanders again as she hit a deep RBI double at the bottom of the sixth. She would score after teammate Ciara Cali was tagged out at first giving JFK the lead 9-6 heading into the seventh inning and sealing the victory for the Islanders.
In the bottom of the fifth the Islanders offense came alive as Cali hit a in-the-park homer which saw her sister, Crisicia, and Janise Santa come home putting the Islanders up 6-4 right before a brief downpour hit the field.
The Sharks had a hard time defensively, giving up costly errors to the Islanders as Edwards could barely find the strike zone. The Islanders quickly capitalized on the Sharks mistakes as Kaitlin Blaz scored off of a wild pitch giving the Islanders a 6-4 edge at the bottom of the fourth.
“A win like this is good for the girls, it gives them confidence and belief in each other,” said Islanders coach Joe Borja who liked what he saw today, but believes there is room for improvement. “We definitely need to work on our all around game, but hitting is something we have to focus on a little more,” added Borja
The Islanders were solid defensively, especially at the top of the fifth as their teamwork denied the Sharks to even touch base. However it was at the top of the seventh where JFK made an impressive defensive stand denying Nauta to steal home as catcher Loyola Rivera caught the ball just in time to not only tag Nauta, but end the game as well. George had a stellar pitching game as she threw five K’s.
In another game, the Southern Dolphins keep rolling along with a big 12-1 win over the Academy Cougars. Southern’s Brielle Meno records her first homer of the season.
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