Highland was up 5-2 at home before Kingston rallied for three runs in the sixth to tie the game at 5-5, with the Tigers winning 6-5 as All-Star first baseman Charlise Castro singled in the winning run in the eighth inning. Highland starter Jenna D’Ercole went five innings, with reliever Carly Bilchak taking the loss. Bilchak had a double and two singles and drove in two runs, with Megan Murphy having a double and a single for an RBI. Kingston freshman Jen Brocco went the distance for the win, giving up 10 hits.
Against Rhinebeck, the Huskies were up against last season’s New York State Class C Player-of-the-Year Megan Michie. And Michie showed the Highland faithful why she deserved that honor and how she led the Hawks to the State title. And in a seemingly effortless 11-strike out performance, Michie pitched a 3-0 five-hit shutout, walking two. It was almost boring to watch. She was in such control.
Highland had mild threats in the first inning, as opposing pitcher Carly Bilchak rapped a two-out single to centerfield and moved to second on a walk to Katie Sulpice, but Michie fanned Jenna Moretti -- her third of the inning -- to end the threat; in the third as Megan Murphy blooped a two-out single into leftfield and stole second, before Bilchak flied to centerfield; in the fifth as Alex Garcia lined a one-out single into center, and after Steph Porter struck out, moved to second on a pop-single by sister Jen, before Michie got Murphy on a grounder to short to end the inning. Garcia singled with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Michie fanned the Porter Sisters to end the game.
Bilchak was overpowering through the first inning-and-two-thirds, striking out five, but a misplayed fly-ball to leftfield by the Huskies’ Sam Valentino put Rhinebeck’s Candace Bennitt on second base. A Moretti error at short moved Bennitt to third, where she scored on a single to deep short by Megan Rogine. Bilchak escaped the inning by getting Amy Mandigo on a pop to Moretti.
In the third, Rhinebeck put the game away (at least the way Michie was pitching). With one out Becky Ferry singled into rightfield, just beating rightfielder Sam Panec’s throw to Murphy at first base. Peggy Albano followed with a drive into the right-centerfielder gap for a run-scoring triple. Albano came home on an Amy Kirker single to center. It was 3-0 and that was it. Bilchak pitched six innings of five-hit 10-strike out ball, walking two, while reliever Jenna D’Ercole pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, with two strike outs.
Against New Paltz, starter Jenna D’Ercole weathered a game-opening home run on her second pitch by hot-hitting Steph Wolfrum, with Highland rallying for five runs in the bottom of the second. The final was 7-2, as Carly Bilchak smacked two doubles and drove in two runs, with Megan Murphy and Alyssa Abrahamsen each hitting a double and a single and knocking in a run. D’Ercole went the distance, allowing eight hits and striking out six. Hard-luck pitcher, Emily Pogemiller (to go along with the Huguenots’ other hard-luck pitcher Laura Suits) took the loss.