The tears started to flow uncontrollably off pitcher Britney Rodriguez’s face as she lined up for the presentation for the finalist medals.
She couldn’t help but cry. Her team, the High School of Construction Red Hawks, just dropped the city championship game against the Tottenville High School Pirates in a 13-3 blowout at St. John’s University on Sunday.
The lost was devastating, but what seemed to hurt the senior more was that her Red Hawks didn’t battle as the top-ranked city team.
“We are a better team than that and I don’t know what happened,” said Rodriguez, who signed with Lackawanna College. “We fell short and we didn’t come out the way we were supposed to.”
The Red Hawks aimed for back-to-back city titles, but played a sloppy, error-filled game, allowing five quick runs in the first inning. Then in the third inning, the Pirates added six more runs — two on wild pitches — to take an 11-0 lead.
“Those two innings were just unbelievable. That first inning set the tone,” Red Hawks coach Marco Migliaccio said. “To go out like this is pretty horrible, because this is not even close to what our best game should have been.”
Construction temporarily recovered out of its funk and scored three runs in the fourth inning, beginning with a bases-loaded single by junior Nicole Ovelheira. There was a glimmer of hope for the Red Hawks, but it was quickly dashed in the next inning as they struggled to get base runners. Tottenville piled on two more runs in final inning to deflect any hopes of a comeback.
“The nerves really hit the girls who have never been here before and then it hit all of us,” said senior Amy Pirozek, who will play at Hunter College next year. “We realized what was at stake and it just fell apart.”
Rodriguez, Pirozek and a few other seniors at the Ozone Park school are the remaining members of the team that built the Red Hawks into the A Division champion last year. They are happy for where the team has come in the past few years, but upset with their final game.
“It feels great, but this is not how I wanted it to end,” Rodriguez said.
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