The Merillon Young Adult Challengers team played its second game recently against the Nassau County Special Olympic Softball team at the Merillon Field Complex. The games have turned into an exciting well-played series that show increased quality of play and competition mixed with good sportsmanship.
Once again a very evenly matched game occurred. Merillon got off to a rocky start by giving up 5 runs in the top of the first inning but was able to rebound both offensively and defensively.
Challenger team includes: Curt Walline, Bobby Lee, Rob Detrano, Justina Kiefer, Dave Foster, Chris Balducci, Meghan Kowtna, Debbie Chin, Tim Keenan; Coaches: Kevin Walline, Gary Detrano.
Our lead off hitter Debbie Chin singled in the bottom of the first to start a three run rally highlighted by doubles by Curt Walline and Tim Keenan. After falling behind 8 to 4 in the top of the third as the Special Olympic team rallied again, Rob Detrano blasted a lead off home run in the bottom of the third.
Merillon tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on RBIs from Dave Foster, Meghan Kowtna and Rob Detrano. Bobby Lee had another great game going 6 for 6 and scoring 4 runs.
Defense once again led the comeback as Chris Balducci made a great throw from center field to throw out a runner at second base and the combination of Rob Detrano to Curt Walline to Bobby Lee pulled off another rally killing double play. Justina Keifer, Meghan Kowtna and Debbie Chin again did a great job patrolling the outfield.
Special Olympic pushed over a run in the top of the seventh to break an 8 to 8 tie and held on in the bottom of the seventh as Merillon was able to get two runners on but could not push the tying run across the plate. The coach of the Special Olympic team, Harvey Greenberg, showed his class and suggested we extend the game to nine innings as the day was beautiful and everyone was having such a good time. After a scoreless eighth inning the visitors scored another run in the ninth. In the bottom of the ninth Merillon rallied once again for two runs as Tim Keenan drove in the tying run.
My thanks to coaches Kevin Walline and Gary Detrano and helpers Christine and Claire Casaccio.