Now that we finally here… the quarterfinal round of the 2013 Section 1 playoffs, here’s a look at how I believe the Class A quarterfinals are going to go:
No. 9 Harrison at No. 1 Eastchester: This is a classic Class A matchup. There will be a lot of factors coming into this game. For starters, Harrison hasn’t played since Friday during the rain so my first question will be will they come out of the game rusty? Dean Marino is too good of a coach to let that happen. Amanda Evangelista, Sam Chiarella, Dominique LoGuidice and company will play hard in this game. My question for Eastchester is that coming off of a 10 inning thriller yesterday, how much energy will they have left to play today? After seeing them against Pearl River earlier this season, this team led by Kristin Martin, Danielle Cacciola, and Danielle Rella will be up and ready to play. This game will be close in my opinion. Prediction: Eastchester over Harrison in extra innings. Next up: The winner of No. 5 Brewster at No. 4 Pearl River in the semifinals.
No. 5 Brewster at No. 4 Pearl River: This game is going to be close and it has a lot of intriguing story. First off, The Bears are come in to the game after eeking out a win over Nyack. The Pirates blew the doors off of Somers. But in all seriousness, the Bears got to the finals last year and it was the first time in at least four years that the Pirates didn’t even make the Class A final. This should be your classic pitchers dual between Alycia Feeney and Mandy McCarthy. The Bears are looking to get back to the finals to take the next step since they were so close a year ago and beaten by Beacon. The Pirates have come into the season on a mission to not let what happened against Beacon last year happen again. This game won’t be easy for either team. I have to give a slight edge to the Pirates just based on the experience factor alone. Many of the veterans — McCarthy, Caroline Kardaishian, Deirdre O’Malley, Sam Alicandri, Nicole Leote, Erin Woods, are only a few years removed from a state championship. This game is really there for either game to take. Prediction: Pearl River over Brewster in extra innings. Next up: The winner of No. 9 Harrison at No. 1 Eastchester in the semifinals.
No. 11 Port Chester at No. 3 Tappan Zee: Nice work by the Rams to make the quarterfinals. Cassie Lagana and company have played great all season and should’ve been a little bit of a higher seed. However, they are coming to Orangeburg to face a Dutchies team that is the best squad they have fielded in pretty much six years since they won the Class A title. Paulina Gutkin is hands down the best pitcher in Rockland County right now. Anyone in that lineup can do damage offensively. Dee Sinanaj, Kelly Connolly, Amanda Carroll, and Meagan Trozzo have been solid all year. Port Chester will make this competitive, but the Dutchies will be too much for the Rams. My question for the Rams is can their pitching keep the Dutchies bats off balance? Prediction: Tappan Zee over Port Chester. Next up: The winner of No. 10 Hen Hud and No. 2 Ursuline in the semifinals.
*No. 10 Hen Hud at No. 2 Ursuline: OK, I’m just going to say it right now and I know Phil might be happy with me on this. I’m going to call this game as an upset special. And it’s hard to do because I really like the Koalas and what they have done this year. Brittany Mitchell is tough as nails and Lauren Filardi is as solid as of a hitter as they come. Essence Savignon is really good behind the plate. The coaching duo of John Pirone and Danny Vitulli are two class acts in softball and will have the Koalas ready to go. The Sailors just have been way too good this year. Cassidy Boyle and Megan Jahoda are studs for them. These two teams are so solid and have played tough schedules. The Sailors, in kind of a similar fashion to Pearl River, are not that far removed from an appearance in the Class A finals. I just think that Sailors have just a hair more firepower. Prediction: Hen Hud over Ursuline in extras. Next up: The winner of No. 11 Port Chester and No. 3 Tappan Zee in the semifinals.
*With this game in particular, I know that I’m calling for the upset but I will be very happy to be wrong about this pick.