Port Jeff's Michiko McGivney #44 connects for a hit against...

Port Jeff's Michiko McGivney #44 connects for a hit against Babylon. (April 15, 2011) Credit: George A. Faella

The lesson is clear: If you're going to intentionally walk Port Jefferson standout Michiko McGivney, you might want to aim the pitches somewhere in Nassau. Maybe even Queens.

McGivney doubled to center on a pitch meant to intentionally walk her in the fifth inning, capping her perfect day at the plate in a 9-4 softball win over Babylon in a League VII/VIII crossover game Friday.

McGivney was 2-for-2 with a double, an RBI, two stolen bases, an intentional walk (one that worked) and she reached when hit by a pitch. "I've never done that before," McGivney said of her fifth-inning at-bat. "At first, we started off slow, but we got hot. Hitting is contagious."

That contagious hitting was a key for Port Jefferson (7-0): Mollie Gibson was 4-for-4 with a double, triple and two runs, and Joy Morrison went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. Christine Desiderio was 3-for-4 with three RBIs for Babylon (7-2).

McGivney gutted through the game, allowing four runs (two earned) and nine hits. The southpaw struck out seven and pitched with the lead in jeopardy several times in the latter stages of the game. "Her changeup today was big," Royals coach Debbie Edgar-Brown said. "She hits her spots. Sometimes she can get a little flustered, but she always battles back."

Babylon struck for two runs in the second on back-to-back RBI singles from Desiderio and Brianna Goodfellow. But Port Jeff chipped away for a run in the bottom of the inning and then took the lead for good courtesy of a three-run third.

The Royals held a 6-2 lead in the fifth when Babylon loaded the bases on a single, a hit batter and an error with two out. But McGivney ended the threat with a strikeout.

Leading 7-4 in the sixth inning, McGivney had runners at second and third and one out. This time, she induced a pop-up to first, holding both runners, and worked the next batter outside until she grounded out.

Babylon's last gasp came in the seventh, with two more runners in scoring position and two out. McGivney induced the final batter to pop to first, and it was no surprise to see her wiggle out of trouble once more.

It almost seemed intentional.