Seaford rebounds in season finale

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After two heartbreaking losses that continued a chronic theme this season, the Seaford softball team is heading into the playoffs on a high note after rallying for a 12-9 win over Calhoun in last Saturday’s regular-season finale.

The Lady Vikings rallied from 4-0 and 8-6 deficits during the makeup contest to complete their crossover conference schedule at 8-8. Karyn Schaller ignited Seaford’s five-run second inning with an RBI double and Anna Butler delivered a two-run single later in the frame to help the Lady Vikings take a 5-4 lead.

In the fifth, Jordan Ragona singled home Julie Hlicken and scored along with Butler on Sophia Scicutella single. Two bases loaded later in the inning helped vault Seaford to a 12-8 lead. The Lady Colts got a run in the sixth, but couldn’t get any closer as Seaford improved to 10-8 overall.

“I’m so proud of the girls,” Seaford coach Thomas Fioriglio said afterwards. “It was a good win today. It was good to get the bats out.”

The runs helped starting pitcher Jamie Horodecki earn the win that pushed her season record to 3-0. Her ERA now stands at 2.41.

“Jamie’s been solid,” Fioriglio said. “It’s nice that I can give her the ball. The last couple of games, she’s pitched good ball and she’s only a freshman.”

The previous day, Seaford yielded two runs in the sixth and seventh innings for a 4-3 loss at MacArthur. In the home finale on May 6, the Vikings carried a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning before losing to Division 3-2, their seventh 1-run defeat of the season. Their only other loss of 2019

was a 2-0 setback against MacArthur on April 23.

“The one-run losses are tough, but we battle back,” said Fioriglio. “[Friday’s] MacArthur game, I was so proud of them. We did a lot of good things. MacArthur’s a great team.”

Butler teamed with Horodecki to earn a solid 1-2 starting punch this season. The sophomore hurler, who has been with the team since eighth grade, finished 5-8 with 98 strikeouts, a 1.98 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. She took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in the season-opener against Long Beach and hurled two one-hitters at Bellmore JFK on March 30 and at Carey three days later.

At the plate, Butler batted .426 with nine doubles, two home runs, 12 RBIs and a .660 slugging percentage. “She’s been our most consistent player,” said Fioriglio.

Horodecki batted .346 with 11 RBIs and 12 runs scored during the regular season and Ragona drove in nine runs, but Fioriglio said he needs contributions from his entire batting order for Vikings to go deep in the playoffs. Freshman Grace Cassarello, who is a strong defensive center fielder, was moved to the leadoff spot midway through the season in hopes of setting the table for his big boppers.

“We have to hit,” said Fioriglio, whose team could be seeded fourth of fifth in Nassau Class A. “Our pitching is solid, our defense is solid, [but] the runs have been hard to come by.”