All told, it wasn’t a bad season for Scarsdale softball with a 5-13 record and there is an incredibly bright future for coach Kevin Carrigan’s program. With 14 of 16 players returning next spring — 11 rising sophomores — Carrigan will have plenty of time to develop the players at the varsity level.
“While our record may not have been very impressive this season, our team energy and passion for softball was truly remarkable and this I believe is exactly what we hoped to achieve this season,” Carrigan said. “Our goal would be to keep these two qualities as high if not higher than they were as we move forward to next year. If our energy and love of the game remains high, our team will continue to grow in terms of skill, knowledge, and execution of situations.”
In addition to growing his players’ skill sets, Carrigan loves the developing chemistry he sees among his team. “Watching the bond our team had on and off the field made this season very enjoyable and I hope our teams of the future can achieve this important and underrated aspect of high school sports,” he said.
The No. 14 softball team ended their season with a 15-0 six-inning loss to No. 3 North Rockland in the opening round of the Section 1 Class AA tournament. North Rockland ace Delaney McGovern struck out 17 of the 18 batters she faced in her perfect game.
Junior Lindsey Smith said the team was not fazed by this disappointing end to the season.
“As an incoming senior, I hope that we can continue to build off the successes of this year,” Smith said. “Although there were some negatives throughout the season, there were also many positives. I am looking forward to continuing working towards our goals as a team and hopefully have a great senior season.”
With Scarsdale graduating two seniors, captains Samantha Kefer and Janet Kuskin, Carrigan and the Raiders are ready to return to work and be ready come springtime next school year.
Kay Fitzgerald, one of the 11 freshmen on the team, is also looking forward to the improvement she knows the entire squad will see from themselves in the coming years as a result of the hard work and experience that are to come after this year’s introduction to varsity.
“We hope to see talent in the rising freshmen and I personally hope to see that every single returner has improved,” she said. “We will be much more competitive because we were able to get a varsity experience. It will be much more familiar next year as we already have a good idea of our future competition.”
Carrigan knows what it will take to develop a winning team at SHS and it’s exactly what North Rockland had, a dominant pitcher. The Raiders continue to work with freshman Ella Hayes, who only walked one batter against Tappan Zee. While she got hit hard — 19 times — she was throwing strikes.
“Softball is a sport where a lot of focus is on the pitcher,” Carrigan said. “If you look at all of the teams that are left in the sectionals as we head into the semifinals, the one thing they all have in common is that they have a dominant pitcher taking the mound for them every game. Right now, that is the one position that we are lacking in.”
With junior Jessica Hausman not coming out for the team this year, Carrigan knew he was asking a lot of any of the pitchers he used this season.
“I give Ella Hayes, our freshman pitcher, all of the credit in the world,” Carrigan said. “While not being an experienced windmill pitcher, she took the ball almost every game and gave it her best effort. Pitching is hard and most successful high school windmill pitchers have dedicated the last five or six years to perfecting this skill. We now have to work on developing a pitcher with only about 10 months until our next season, so we have our work cut out for us. I know each of our players will work on improving themselves as softball players and that is all we can ask.”