The Bayside High School softball team’s reward for being excellent all year was almost the cause for its demise in the 2014 PSAL playoffs.
The city’s second-ranked softball team earned a two-game bye because of its 15-1 record and tie for first in the Queens A Division, delaying its playoff debut until the sweet sixteen round on May 27 against Curtis High School of Staten Island.
But rust from the two-game hiatus quickly showed. Curtis, the 15-seeded team, jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning and Bayside was trailing 5-4 by the fifth inning. Bayside was looking at an upset and early exit from the tournament, when the team quickly woke up in the bottom of the fifth inning led by senior Heidi Gomez, and they won the game 9-5.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” Coach Steve Piorkowski said, referring to the bye. “Skills like hitting and pitching you need to be game sharp, you want to be competing straight through.”
Gomez, the team’s ace pitcher, finished with 12 strikeouts and a complete game, but she gave up four walks and eight hits, including a monster three-run homer, which gave Curtis its 5-4 lead in the fifth.
But following her mistake, Gomez, who went 2-for-3 at the plate, started the Lady Commodores’ rally when she powered a single in bottom of the inning. Her pinch-runner eventually scored on a throwing error to first base to tie the game.
Later in the inning, with one base runner, senior catcher Taylor Moy smacked a triple, giving Bayside the lead. Then Moy scored on a wild pitch during the next at-bat to expand the lead, 7-5.
“I was like, we got to catch back up, we’re going to lose and I don’t want to lose,” Moy said. “So we had to rally, push through, make contact — any contact possible.”
Bayside quieted Curtis’ offensive for the remainder of the game and expanded their lead in the next inning. With the trap game behind them, the team feels that they’ll be in shape for the next round.
“I think if we play how we normally play, we’ll do great,” Gomez said.
Bayside will host George Washington of Manhattan on Thursday at 4 p.m.
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