Bay Shore’s Deanna Ebert has occasionally found the learning curve at varsity softball to be a difficult one.
But it’s her curveball that has been even tougher on opponents.
The junior registered 12 strikeouts with one walk in a six-hit shoutout as Bay Shore beat host Connetquot, 1-0, in a Suffolk II game on Friday.
Ebert played on the junior varsity squad as a freshman but moved up to varsity as a sophomore last year — in the season that wasn’t because of COVID-19.
"It’s definitely been an adventure, honestly," said Ebert, who plays travel ball for the L.I. Rebels 18U team. "But it’s been rewarding and challenging. I’ve definitely learned a lot this season, especially adjusting to the games almost every other day."
The righthander, who utilizes a fastball, curveball, screwball, change-up and drop pitch, was challenged by Connetquot (2-3, 2-3) in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Emily Crain singled with one out and Ariana Palminteri doubled to put runners on second and third. A bunt single by Paige Dreyfus (three hits) loaded the bases. But Ebert induced a grounder to shortstop Caroline Hobbs, who threw to home for the out. Ebert ended the threat with her eighth strikeout through five innings.
Bay Shore (6-2, 5-1) used some two-out magic for the game’s lone run in the top of the sixth.
Freshman second baseman Tiffany Mendez smashed a two-out triple to left-centerfield. Senior first baseman Julia Carpenter sent the first pitch she saw to centerfield for an RBI single.
"I knew I had a job to do, and I knew I had to capitalize on it," said Carpenter, who also had a pair of diving catches at first base. "I just wanted to get the job done for my team."
Carpenter had two of the Marauders’ six hits off tough-luck losing pitcher Bella Andres, who had four strikeouts with no walks.
"[Deanna] got into a little bit of trouble, but she used her defense to get out," Bay Shore coach Jackie Pasquerella said. "That’s what we tell her, ‘It’s not all on you.’ "
Pasquerella occasionally yelled to Ebert: "Don’t think, just fire it!" during the game.
Ebert, slowly, has been making adjustments on the fly in her first, full varsity season.
"[Coach] knows that I do get in my own head sometimes and I’ve been working on it a lot," Ebert said. "Sometimes I take it too seriously so I get reminded by my teammates and my coach to just have fun and play softball."
She’s becoming a quick learner.