Renegades Dominate in Season Opener

The girls’ varsity softball team finishes their opener with a blowout win against Hunter College High School and looks forward to tougher opponents.

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By Zoe Oppenheimer

All eyes turned to home plate at the crack of junior Aeryn Lubelsky’s bat. Spectators went silent as they gazed at the softball flying to the left field fence. The Hunter Hawks’ left-fielder desperately ran to the ball, but by the time she had picked it up, Lubelsky was already rounding second base. There was an uproar in the dugout once Lubelsky reached third base and brought in two runners. The score was 6-1 now, and Stuyvesant’s softball team, the Renegades, was hungry for more. They had secured the lead and continued relentlessly until they earned their opening win of the season.

After hard work during practices and scrimmages, the Renegades finally arrived at their opening game against Hunter College High School on March 27 at Frederick Douglass Park. With a five-run lead after Lubelsky’s hit, they showed no mercy, defeating Hunter 12-3, as they have consistently done in past seasons. After finishing sixth in the city last year, the Renegades felt confident in obliterating the Hunter Hawks.

Throughout the first and second innings, the Renegades scored three runs and kept the Hunter Hawks at two, but not without a cost. During the second inning, as senior and co-captain Julianna Fabrizio ran to home plate, she twisted her ankle and soon left the field, injured and unable to return. Once the Renegades managed to cope with Fabrizio’s injury and became comfortable with the Hunter Hawks’ pitching, they turned on the offensive and scored five runs in the third inning, going through the entire batting lineup. Having secured the lead, they kept the Hawks at three runs by the seventh inning, scoring an additional four themselves.

The victory can be attributed to the Renegades’ stellar hitting. They had 12 RBIs from 11 hits. When commenting on the win, Coach Vincent Miller said, “We played well offensively today. We hit some big shots and had good hitting overall. Though we played well, we have to work on our base running and sliding.” Senior and co-captain Ruby Gary also noted that while they beat a weak opponent, the team needs to “work on baserunning, especially getting used to sliding,” she said.

This opener was a great start for the team as they have recently been moving players around and are still figuring out their best positions. “We’ve been having switches in positions, and I think this game was a good confidence booster for us. I want us to continue taking more risks in games,” Gary said.

Filling the shoes of former co-captains, who were catcher Charlotte Ruhl and ace pitcher Francesca Michielli, is a challenging task, but seniors Ruby Gary and Alexandra Archer have already proven themselves to be good replacements. Archer played the full seven innings on the mound, keeping the Hunter Hawks at only three hits and two earned runs. At the same time, Gary performed well with good blocking techniques as the catcher. The two have clearly played together and regularly show their chemistry on the diamond. In the infield, there were constant balls hit to Lubelsky at second base, who efficiently made the play to senior and co-captain Alexandra Lennard at first base every time.

With experienced players and excellent team chemistry, the Renegades have upped their expectations for this season as well. “Now that we’re in a new AA league, we are more ambitious to succeed in this season,” Lennard said. More specifically, they have new goals in terms of their ranking at the end of the season. Coach Miller is confident and determined that the team is ready to excel and achieve their objectives. “We’re not only trying to make the playoffs this season; we’re trying to be win our division,” he said. With the strong fielding and batting the Renegades displayed at their opening game against Hunter, it seems that their target is not a reach.