Erin McDaid, softball player, of Smithtown West High School poses...

Erin McDaid, softball player, of Smithtown West High School poses at Newsday studios for the Spring Preview section on Thursday, March 23, 2023. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Erin McDaid’s pitching performance against Commack is one that will go down in Smithtown West's history books.  

McDaid struck out 18 in the Bulls' 3-1 victory over the Cougars on May 1, setting a new single-game school record. She also scored a run as the Bulls picked up one of their best wins of the season.

“I didn’t realize or have the thought in mind about breaking a record. I didn’t know until the coach told me the next day,” McDaid said. "I’m a competitor, so I just wanted to help my team get a win.” 

The sophomore recorded her first 16 outs via the strikeout.

“My speed was very consistent throughout the game,” McDaid said. “I feel like all my pitches were working very well and I was able to keep their lineup off balance.” 

Later that week on May 5, McDaid struck out 16 in a 12-0 win over Copiague. In that outing she notched her 150th strikeout of the season and the 300th of her high school career.  

“I certainly wanted to come into this season improved, but keep things simple,” McDaid said. “I didn’t make drastic changes or overdo anything. I just trained hard and made sure I’d still be able to produce outs.” 

Lindenhurst raises awareness for Alzheimer's

“Alzheimer’s Lives Matter” was the backdrop for a Lindenhurst team photo on May 3, as the Bulldogs sported purple shirts looking to bring awareness to the disease.  

Tyler Ray is a first-year varsity head coach for Lindenhurst. His mother Bonnie, is battling early onset Alzheimer’s.  

“My mom was diagnosed about three years ago,” Ray said. “I know a few other people who have been affected by it, so we wanted to try to come together for a good cause.” 

The decision to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s initially came as a surprise to Ray, but it was something he is grateful for.

“The team surprised me one day early in the season with the shirts,” Ray said. “It was certainly emotional, because this was something that I hadn’t openly talked much about.” 

Lindenhurst earned a 13-1 victory over Huntington that day. Now, Ray hopes this is something that can become a tradition in an even bigger fashion in the future. 

“The girls were so open and receptive to this. I was very proud of them for coming together to support a cause that I don’t think many know about,” Ray said. “This is definitely something I want to keep doing for as long as I’m around, maybe next year get a fundraiser going and donate the money to the Alzheimer’s Foundation.” 

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