Clarkstown South historic softball season comes to end
Throughout the spring of 2012 the Lady Vikings have been one of the most talked about and highly thought of teams in the section 1 softball community. However the 2012 season came to sudden halt when the Lady Vikings went up against a very good squad from Roy C. Ketcham High School in Wappingers Falls. The Lady Vikings’ opponent Roy C. Ketcham was a team that had been a top the section 1 rankings throughout the 2012 season. Led by their ace Casey Herzog the Indians posted a 13-5 regular season record, good enough for the 2nd overall seed in the Class AA bracket of the Section 1 tournament.
The game ended up being a disaster for the Lady Vikings, defeated by Ketcham 8-0. Ketcham’s Casey Herzog had six strikeouts in the game and got tremendous run support thanks in part to freshman Andrea Bombace who hit a three-run home run in the third inning.
“We just didn’t play our best and it showed on the scoreboard and with the result of this game,” Coach Maura Heebink said after the game.
As their season slowly began to fade away, each member of the Lady Vikings had a look of sadness as they began to realize that their time together and their season was coming to an end. There were four seniors on the team, two of which played in the final game of their storied careers (catcher Allie Tobias and pitcher Brittany Montana). “This is my last inning ever,” a highly emotional Brittany Montana said as she led her teammates onto the field for the bottom of the sixth inning.
Despite a tough loss to end the season the 2012 edition of the Lady Vikings softball program was one that will never be forgotten, featuring three major story lines, the first being the end of an era that featured four senior talents. Seniors Cassie Fishkin, Sami McDonald, Allie Tobias and Brittany Montana each played major roles in the growth of the program in their previous years leading up to their senior seasons.
“Everything we’ve done as a senior class has been unbelievable and the time we’ve had together has just gone by way too fast,” senior pitcher Sami McDonald said.
Along with the storyline of the four amazing seniors is another story about a group of four freshmen that may follow in the footsteps of this 2012 class. With so few returning players coach Maura Heebink had to look to underclassmen to fill roster spots. Thankfully for both coach Heebink and the entire program the four players that she selected all turned out to be ready for the varsity level and pick up some valuable experience along the way.
The four players Karly Fishkin, Briana Keaveney, Megan Atzl and Nicole Ritsick each played major roles on the team. With Fishkin and Keaveney getting opportunities to start and Atzl and Ritsick getting valuable experience as pinch runners and working as prospect type players that have potential that has already begun to show in their time on the field this past season.
“Playing on this team has been a great experience and it will definitely benefit all of us in the future,” Karly Fishkin said. Fishkin also added that she will always remember this season being special because she got to play with her older sister Cassie. “I’m gonna miss her a lot next year and so happy to have had the opportunity to have played with her,” she said.
The third major story line on this 2012 Lady Vikings squad was the fact that the team was very talented in nearly every position on the field.
Playing with a solid infield that was anchored by key returning players Carly Feuer at shortstop and Cassie Fishkin at first base the Lady Vikings were able to make nearly every play appear routine. The talent from the infield continued into the outfield with juniors Alana Kurti and Caitlin Grogan serving as everyday outfielders with the third spot being alternated between Sami McDonald and Brittany Montana, a pitching tandem that kept all of Rockland County and most of section 1 guessing all season. And last but certainly not least the team would not be complete without their anchor behind the plate, senior Allie Tobias. Tobias was able to call every game from behind the plate with a strong knowledge of what her opponent’s tendencies were and how to attack them.
In addition to her skill as a catcher Tobias also had a very strong connection with both McDonald and Montana. “Allie and I are best friends off the field so our chemistry is great and she sometimes knows my pitches better than I do,” she said.
Finishing with a 17-4 overall record the Lady Vikings did things that not very many people thought that they could do coming into the season. Some of the team’s accomplishments included going undefeated in their league and on their home field, beating a previously unbeaten Pearl River team by a 9-4 margin, and of course, making it to the section semifinals. The Lady Vikings were the third team at Clarkstown South to make a trip to the Class AA section 1 semis (football and boys basketball). This feat completes what I have decided to dub “The Year of the Viking,” a year that will live in infamy when the alumni and the people of Clarkstown look back on the 2012 edition of Clarkstown South athletics.
“I am truly honored to have been a part of this team, this class and this school,” said a proud and emotional Sami McDonald a day after her team’s elimination from sectional play. “I will be a Lady Viking forever,” she added with a smile.