If there’s a softball game too big for Hauppauge’s Molly Delaney, it hasn’t revealed itself yet.
The Eagles’ pitcher has been at the forefront of Hauppauge’s nine-game winning streak, including a 3-1 victory over defending Suffolk A champion Mount Sinai April 17 to get the roll started. On Monday, the senior tossed a three-hitter against defending Suffolk AA champion East Islip in a 2-0 win and was named Newsday’s Athlete of the Week.
“It felt amazing to know that I was the only one who beat them so far,” said Delaney, who handed both Mount Sinai and East Islip their first losses of the season. “Better competition brings out the best in my pitching.”
After serving as the secondary pitcher last season, Delaney has embraced her new role as the go-to hurler as Hauppauge holds an 11-5 record in Suffolk VII entering the final week of the regular season. But don’t expect her to take most of the credit herself.
“I love the responsibility,” Delaney said. “I love knowing that all eyes are on me and then having a great team to back me up helps.”
Hauppauge, which dropped down to Class A from Class AA because of enrollment, won 15 games last season and hopes to build on its winning streak toward another deep postseason run.
“We have a really nice bond this year and winning just keeps pumping us up more,” Delaney said. “Every win just keeps adding emphasis on what the future can bring us.”
Coach Ashley Corriss said having Delaney in the circle brings added confidence to the team, which has proved vital in the biggest games of the spring.
“I think it’s really just the support of her teammates and her mentality,” Corriss said. “She lives for moments like that. She loves the big game. She loves when it’s got to be done and you have to win and I think she thrives off that. She steps up every time there’s a challenge and it pulls out the best in her.”
And Delaney wants to leave a legacy behind with the Eagles.
“We’re just having fun and we’re going to continue to win,” she said. “We’re really confident this year, especially me. We’re excited, and it’s my senior season. It just pushes me to be my best because I want to leave off with a good note in this school and this town. I want my name to be remembered.”