’s Sound Shore Women’s Softball League crowned a new champion this year, after the Legal Eagles defeated Frank’s Pizza in the playoff finals last Tuesday.
They recovered from a slow start this season by making midseason roster changes that quickly paid off.
“The turn around in our season was outstanding,” said player-manager Rosemarie Hanley. “We really peaked just in time for playoffs.”
They turned a regular season record of 6-7 into a fourth seed berth to the post-season and they were on their way to victory.
Their most momentous gain was overcoming Rye Brook whose team had gone an impressive 15-1 for the regular season including a 1-1 draw with Rye's Legal Eagles due to a Rye Brook forfeit.
Clearly an underdog to Rye Brook's seemingly unstoppable season performance, the Legal Eagles managed to best them in post-season play. Rye Rec's defense was inspired, taking the team to a 5-1 lead and the Sound Shore championship series.
After seeing the importance of gaining an early lead, the Eagles looked to come out strong against their opponent Frank's Pizza. Solid hitting by the ladies in pink- especially Desiree Mion, Rosemarie Hanley, and Elise Byrnes- drove in base runners, giving the Eagles an early advantage.
After five innings of play the Eagles were ahead 18-3 during the first of their 'best of three' match up, forcing the umpires to end the game early, citing the “Gong Rule.”
Players Kelsey Hanley and Tracy Meyerson put in yeoman's performances during the second head to head making all the difference and clinching the championship.
“I really wanted to win this in two games,” said shortstop Kelsey Hanley. “We’ve been doing so well lately, and loss could have thrown off the rhythm we set.”
Many of the members of not only the Legal Eagles, but the entire league, have been playing for decades. The team is sponsored by Rye law firm Grossman & Associates of Rye. Their roster features many familiar faces: Maura Kelly, Betty Jane Gianfrancesco, Melissa Cohen, Lindsey Hanley, Caroline Feeley, Emma and Janet Herbold, Bridget Vavasour, Sue Payne, Aisling Geraghty, Laurie Singer and Glennie Westerink.
Coach George Grossman praised his team. “They really came together to prove themselves this year. It was tough losing in the championship game last year, but this year they did exactly what they needed to, and I think it shows the dedication of these ladies.”