SOUTH GLENS FALLS, N.Y. - It was a breakdown in fundamentals that, at least in part, cost Pierson/Bridgehampton in the state softball semifinals. A litany of "little things," the Whalers said, is what they will lament.
In time, though, when the disappointment gives way to perspective and the full picture comes into focus, it most likely will be the big things they carry with them: That Pierson-Bridgehampton, with its dearth of depth, still has won three straight Long Island championships. That this group gave Sag Harbor reason to parade.
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"After we lost last year , we had it in our heads that we would win it all this year," pitcher Samantha Duchemin said. "But it just didn't turn out the way we had hoped."
The Whalers were stifled for five-plus innings and Greenwich's offense was opportunistic as it beat Pierson, 9-1, Saturday in a state Class C semifinal.
Rachel Hall pitched a two-hitter with four walks and six strikeouts to lead Greenwich, which also had ended the Whalers' 2012 season in the same round.
"We got this far again, so you can't call it a bad season," senior Kasey Gilbride said. "It's hard right now, but we should be proud of what we've done, even though this wasn't what we expected."
Hall, who pitched a no-hitter in her previous start, kept the hitters off balance with her changeup and didn't allow a hit until Zoe Diskin's single to lead off the sixth. Greenwich (17-10) lost to Edison, 6-2, in the state final Saturday evening.
"I don't think the score showed how closely matched we were with [Greenwich]," catcher Emma Romeo said. "We're a snowball team. When we have momentum, we get on a roll. That didn't happen today and we made way too many mistakes."
Duchemin gave up 11 hits, but the Whalers compounded that with four errors.
Greenwich loaded the bases with three singles in the second inning and got on the board when Alexis Case scored on an error. Gabrielle Van DeWater followed with an infield single, and Samantha Whitehose's sacrifice fly made it 3-0. The Witches added two runs in the third and Leah Foster's RBI groundout made it 5-0.
The Whalers (14-6) finally broke through in the sixth, when Duchemin lashed a double that scored Diskin and pulled them within 6-1. "We had a good year, athletically," Duchemin, a junior and one of 10 returning players on the Whalers' 12-person roster. "As much as this hurts, this year was mostly successful."
The Pierson/Bridgehampton baseball team also competed in the state tournament this weekend. Gilbride, Duchemin, Romeo and Calista Cafiero were members of the field hockey team that won its first state championship last fall (on Gilbride's double-overtime goal in the final). The Whalers girls basketball team, led by Gilbride, captured a Suffolk title for the first time since 2000.
"Most people upstate probably don't even know where we are," said Gilbride, who will play field hockey at Richmond. "We're such a small community, but I think over the last few years, we've put ourselves on the map."
And that's a big thing.