Covered the game last Friday - you can read it here. Some randomness you probably won't care about but I'll post anyway. I couldn't think of a lead for that story. When I first started writing articles, I'd write the rest of it first and then come back and see if I could find something for the first sentence/paragraph. I'd gone away from that the last couple years but I wound up doing it for this story. Not all-out writer's block but... you could call it a lead block (pun intended). Anyway, what I came up with was something like, "Catherine Havens is like bad traffic." The idea was to play off the start & stop; how she started the rallies for Eastport and stopped them for the other team. If you're shaking your head, I agree with you. That was beyond corny - even for my standards. Funny part is I kinda liked it when I first thougt of it. Thankfully, the editors weren't feeling it. Ended up keeping the automotive theme and just going with "Catherine Havens was in the driver's seat." Not that snappy, but better than the first idea. (Yes, I've noticed that I always ramble in these things and apologize for my rambling after I'm done rambling then ramble again the next time I post. I'll just skip the apology this time because a rambler does what a rambler does.)

If you haven't peeped the previous "Leftover" posts: It's a post with quotes from a coverage that didn't make the paper and are blogable. Sometimes (often) we'll interview a bunch of people and they say good stuff, but not all of it can fit in the space for the article. A lot of times the people who we do quote in the article will say other things that don't make it. So what we've got here is the stuff told to me at last Friday's game that I wanted to post. Don't let these leftovers go to waste. Read up!

Islip coach Dennis McSweeney
-- On ESM’s Catherine Havens: “Catherine’s a real good pitcher. She can hit a flee with a BB… She’s a tough kid, she’s great hitting spots. She’s tough as nails and she can throw with anybody. She hangs right in there with [Lindsay] Taylor (Kings Park) and [Nicole] Ehlinger (Hauppauge). I couldn’t have more respect for her… She’s as good as anybody in the county. If we can hang with her like that, it gives us some confidence. We hope we can rally from this and take it into the playoffs.”

-- On Islip starter Alex DeVries: "Alex pitched tremendously. She battled Catherine real well. And what she did offensively breathed life into us. To her credit, she came into the dugout after the last inning and told everyone, ‘Let’s get excited and do what we have to do.’ Then when she hit it [DeVries hit a long homer to straightaway center to pull the Bucs within 2-1], it got everyone a little more aggressive and our hitting picked up. It gave us the opportunity to get right back into the game.”

Catherine Havens
-- On the home run:  “That home run was a bad pitch by me. I don’t remember what kind of pitch it was, just a bad one. It was a mistake and I left it over the middle of the zone and, good job by her, she hit it.”

-- On the subtle rivalry with Islip and their three-game winning streak against them: “It’s always a close game between us. Once you get [the streak] started, you can’t let up the pressure. You want to keep it going.”

Alex DeVries
-- Optimistic after the loss: “I feel good right now because we gave a really good effort. For it to be our last game on this field (Wing Elementary School), we gave our hearts. If we keep playing like this, I think things will fall into place in the playoffs… I told everyone to shake the game off. We always have to be moving on and moving forward.”
-- On the home run: “I’ve hit it over the fence in center three times. Not this season, though… I thought it was just going to be a fly ball. It got inside and connected around my handle.”

-- On the loud screaming and cheering she does in the dugout. (Yes, pretty much all softball players have loud dugout cheers. DeVries’ is loud and fiery enough to jump out. Along with the dancing. Don’t think I didn‘t see the dance.):  “Oh, yeah, it’s something I’ve realized. I’m crazy. I definitely go crazy in the dugout… I’ve probably always been the loudest one. But we love it.”

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