If Tottenville and James Madison are on the same softball field, odds are something big is at stake.
The teams met in each of the last three PSAL Class A championships and could again see each other in June, making Monday’s regular season game in Huguenot, which will be live on MSGVarsity.com at 4 p.m., so interesting.
In 2010, James Madison shocked Tottenville in the PSAL final, but the Pirates exacted revenge in last year’s title game, winning their seventh championship in eight years in an extra-inning thriller.
Tottenville returns arguably the city’s best player in pitcher Cheryl Lopez. The transfer from Notre Dame Academy exploded onto the scene last year with a remarkable postseason.
She capped off a stellar sophomore campaign with a semifinal no-hitter and a one-hitter in 10 innings in the championship game.
Lopez is even better this year. In five league games, she is 5-0 and has yet to give up an earned run in 21 innings. She has scattered five hits, walked one and has 49 strikeouts.
At the plate, Lopez is batting .429 with three doubles and seven RBIs in 14 at-bats.
Tottenville (5-0), ranked No. 1 in New York City by MSG Varsity, is also led by New Haven-bound catcher Jennifer Palase, who has scored 10 run in just 11 at-bats, second baseman Jill Regan, who is batting .625 with nine RBIs and Krista Casale fills the rather large void left by Victoria McFarland, a co-Wingate award winner last year with Madison’s Kayla Hill, in center.
No. 5 James Madison (6-0) has a new look in the circle and on the bench. Sophomore Cheyenne Tatesure is attempting to fill the void left by Hill, now at Pace University, and Brian Friedman is the new coach, replacing Jeff Meltzer.
Tatesure, too, hasn’t allowed an earned run in 28 innings, striking out 39 with 17 walks and 14 hits. And like Lopez, Tatesure is doing it at the plate, batting .524 with a double, a triple, a home run and four RBIs in 21 at-bats.
The Lady Knights are led by a pair of spectacular returnees in senior catcher Samantha Rodriguez, who has 13 RBIs in 22 at-bats and senior shortstop Gina Gerone, who leads the PSAL ‘A’ with 15 hits and is second with 18 RBIs.
Transfers Janelle Garvey (St. Edmund Prep) and Victoria Slavik (St. Francis Prep) have also been huge early on for Madison.