ABINGTON – Even in defeat, the fifth-seeded Monomoy Regional High School softball team left Abington with heads held high after suffering a 7-2 loss to fourth-seeded Abington on June 23 in the Division 3 South sectional quarterfinals.
There were plenty of reasons for the Sharks to be proud of their season, most notably the way they dominated the Cape and Islands League with such a young roster. Although the team’s magical season came to an end in the postseason, Monomoy coach Stacy Yarnall said her squad might be even better next year after bringing the bulk of its roster back.
“My whole infield will be coming back,” Yarnall said. “My catcher is a ninth-grader, and my pitcher is an eighth-grader. We’re young and we made some of the mistakes that come with being a young team, but I’m excited about the future. We had four seniors who graduated this year and it’s sad to see them go, but we’re definitely looking forward to next year and hope we’ll be back here again against them.”
Monomoy (11-3) advanced to the quarterfinals following a lopsided 14-2 victory over No. 12 Archbishop Williams in a first-round matchup at MRHS two days earlier. Although the Sharks stranded two runners in their first trip to the plate, they made up for it in the second inning.
Junior shortstop Maddie Crossen came through in the clutch with a two-out RBI single off Abington’s starting pitcher Shannon Varvitsiotis that scored eighth-grader Lilly Furman and junior Audrey Smith and gave Monomoy a 2-0 lead in the top half of the second.
“I think that going in there swinging and starting off 2-0 really helped us out a lot,” Yarnall said. “We hadn’t played them in a couple years so we didn’t know what to expect other than knowing they were going to score runs and hit the ball, so that was big for us to score first.”
The Green Wave (14-2) bounced back in the third inning, however, as Kasie Bailey hit a two-out RBI single off the Sharks’ starter, eighth-grader Alana Lojko. Abington took control and built a 4-2 lead in the fourth after scoring three runs in the frame, and it added one more in the fifth and two more in the sixth, proving too much for Lojko to contain in her postseason debut.
“There were a few regular season games that were like this, but this was definitely probably the hardest,” said Lojko, a Dennis Port resident, when asked if Abington’s lineup was the toughest she had faced this spring.
Although it wasn’t the way the eighth-grader wanted her season to end, Lojko said her confidence grew throughout the season after she established herself as Monomoy’s ace pitcher.
“I definitely feel like my confidence has built with everybody being so supportive around me,” she said, adding that she’s already looking forward to future seasons. “It’s exciting and fun to know you have more years to play.”
Like her coach and pitcher, Crossen is also looking forward to the future.
“We have four seniors leaving, but I think our core infielders are all going to be here,” said Crossen, a Harwich resident. “So, I think we’re going to do even better than we did this year. Hopefully we’ll go further and beat Abington.”
Email Brad Joyal at email@example.com