Stuyvesant Softball’s Season Ends in Semifinals

After winning their division, the Renegades ended their successful season in the semifinals.

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The Renegades, Stuyvesant’s softball team, ended their season with a 12-2 loss to James Madison High School in the second round of the playoffs. Prior to their defeat, the Renegades eliminated Fort Hamilton from the playoffs in a tight game, ending with a score of 16-15. While they maintained momentum throughout their season, the Renegades were unfortunate in the semifinals and were eliminated.

The Renegades’ first playoff round game against Fort Hamilton was a close, breathtaking game. When the Renegades were down 15-10 in the seventh inning, they made a six-run comeback, capped off by senior Talia Kirshenbaum’s walk-off home run. This last-minute recovery drove the Renegades into the next round of the playoffs and saved them from an early elimination. “We got fired up and scored six runs in our last at-bat to win the entire game by one run. Consistent at bats put people on base, and Kirshenbaum delivered with a home run and two RBIs to win it for us,” senior and co-captain Ruby Gary said.

Fort Hamilton’s defeat was not the Renegades’ first major comeback, however. The Renegades had previously overturned a deficit against the Manhattan Center for Science and Math, winning their division by a narrow victory of 11-10. “My proudest moments included winning the division by coming back after being down six runs with three innings to play. Kirshenbaum hit a walk-off home run, and [senior] Ally Archer came in to close out the game on the mound,” Coach Vincent Miller said.

When the Renegades faced James Madison in the second playoff round, they were up 3-2 in the fifth inning with two outs. The game came down to one unfortunate inning in which James Madison got the best of the Renegades. When commenting on the loss, Coach Miller said, “James Madison was just finding holes and placing the ball where we did not have fielders. A couple close calls at first base that inning also added to our defeat.” This unfortunate inning involved hits to gaps on the diamond, and it led to the end of a strong season.

The Renegades’ success this season can be attributed to their incredible offensive play. They scored a total of 113 runs throughout the season, with nine home runs, and they ended up reaching their goal of winning their division. A key player to the team’s offense was Kirshenbaum. With a batting average of .472 in the regular season and .900 in the playoffs, she drove in six home runs, 30 RBIs, and had 26 hits. Senior Lili Boenigk also had a strong season with 17 RBIs in 27 hits.

Not only did the Renegades play well offensively, but they also kept tough opponents at bay with their defense. Senior and co-captain Ruby Gary and senior Alexandra Archer stepped up to replace the void left by the previous excellent catcher and pitcher duo, alumnae Charlotte Ruhl and Francesca Michielli. Archer ended the season with 24 strikeouts and showcased her chemistry with Gary every game on the diamond.

The Renegades will be taking some big blows to their lineup next season as six seniors will have graduated, including the starting pitcher and catcher. This will leave a gap in the team as it did this season, but the younger players on the Renegades are ready to step up. “The Renegades are also losing the first five batters in the lineup (all are seniors), and hitting has been one of our strong suits the past four seasons, so there will definitely need to be a lot of focus on improving their bats,” senior and co-captain Alexandra Lennard said about the younger players.

The underclassmen are indeed providing hope for the Renegades’ seasons to come. Juniors Eve Wening and Aeryn Lubelsky and sophomore Isabel Leka, along with other qualified underclassmen, have the experience needed to lead the team to success. “The new players and the returning players are all extremely dedicated and eager to try new positions, and they jump at every opportunity to improve any aspect of their game,” senior and co-captain Julianna Fabrizio said. “I know that they'll continue to work hard and show the same passion for softball that they always have, and I'm excited to come back next year to see what they have in store.”

Though they were eliminated in the semifinals, the Renegades have every reason to celebrate their season as division champions. They have once again displayed, as in previous seasons, that they are a force to be reckoned with. “I had high expectations for this year’s team, and I feel like we achieved those expectations. I am very happy and pleased with what we accomplished,” Coach Miller concluded.