Although the fell of winning a league championship, the team did achieve one of its preseason objectives.
“This year’s varsity softball team’s goal was to make it to Hofstra University,” coach Meghan McArdle said at the on June 7. “I guess we should have specified that we wanted to win at Hofstra.”
St. Anthony’s defeated the Mustangs in the CHSAA semifinals 5-2 on May 24 at Hofstra, stopping OLMA of the chance to play for a title. But just getting to the semi's was a major accomplishment for Mercy - two days earlier, the Mustangs almost lost out on the opportunity altogether.
OLMA faced a do-or-die situation entering the second game of a May 22 playoff double header. After dropping the first game, also to St. Anthony’s, OLMA topped . A four run fifth inning broke a 2-2 tie and sent the Mustangs towards a second playoff match-up with St. Anthony’s.
The Mustangs finished the regular season 11-9. Thanks to a 10-7 CHSAA record, OLMA finished in third place in league play. This was a large improvement from last year, when the team finished in fifth place.
The team was comprised of two first-year players, eight third-year players, and four fourth-year players. This mix was a perfect one for McArdle. The third and fourth-year athletes allowed the team to have success and build for the future simultaneously.
“Our team played together and never put an individual above the team. To me, that’s tremendous success,” McArdle said. “We had a few bumps and bruises during the year, but everyone pitched in and played each position that was asked of them without hesitation.”
Senior second baseman Stephanie Viggiano was one of the leaders on the team, garnering praise from her coach at the end of the year.
“She ensured that shirts were tucked in, the girls were lined up, and helped keep some of the hair in my head,” McArdle said.
Viggiano, who played on the varsity for her entire OLMA career, is committed to play at Siena College next year.
Junior Samantha Sauer led the Mustangs on the mound. She factored in nearly every decision this season. Sauer started both games of the May 22 double header, putting in an outstanding performance when OLMA needed her to shut down St. John the Baptist.
Sauer, Viggiano, Nicole Reda, and Jessica Schild
With Sauer, Reda and eight others returning, success should continue for the Mustangs next spring.