Wildcat Softball: Successful Growing Pains and Having Fun

Whitman softball coach Ms. Jessica Kozlowski surprised a few people this year with how well her young team played. “We have three great seniors who demonstrated great leadership day in and day out,” said Coach Kozlowski. “The team never gave up, worked extremely hard, and, above all, loved to play the game and have fun.”
Senior captains Morgan Geiser, Brianna Calby, and Ashley Goforth were all instrumental in the team's successes, but probably this year's biggest surprise was their pitching. ”Without a doubt, our pitching kept us in many games,” said Coach Kozlowski. “Our pitchers stepped up big time, and two of them are freshmen, so we will be well set for next year.” Sparks of solid play managed to upset powerhouses Smithtown East and East Islip, but they failed to ignite enough fire to take the team to this year’s playoffs. Nevertheless, “Both of those games were huge for us as a team” said Coach Kozlowski. “Our pitching ruled the Smithtown East game, with Jenna Piromalli, a freshman, keeping us in the game. And Ashley Goforth’s two-run single in the bottom of the sixth gave us the 5-2 lead.” In the East Islip upset, Rachel Guida hit a grand slam in the fifth to tie the game at 5. Then the Wildcats' Morgan Geiser hit a walk-off single, scoring Brianna Calby for the win. Whitman’s Linda Powell, another freshman, pitched the whole game, with the last five innings being hitless and scoreless. “To battle with so many of these good teams and never really be blown out, shows how hard the girls worked,” said Coach Kozlowski. “To have nine wins in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the program--that's success. And it can only grow from here.”

Photo#1: Whitman senior Brianna Calby waits for her pitch.

Photo#2: Eighth-grade pitcher Ariel Khatchatourian had a strong season and was a great surprise this year. She will be counted on heavily next year.