Vargas, Telecom move one step closer to final round
Glenn McCartney told his hitters before the sixth inning to take a strike before swinging away. The Telecommunications softball coach wanted to make InTech Academy reliever Araya Henry work.
The strategy worked like a charm.
Up two runs, the Yellow Jackets drew six straight walks in the sixth before junior leftfielder Liz Vargas got up to bat. McCartney pulled her aside.
“You’re the only one that doesn’t have to take,” he said he told the team’s No. 3 hitter.
Vargas responded with a first-pitch, two-run single to blow the game open. No. 2 Telecommunications went on to beat No. 19 InTech Academy, 10-2, Monday afternoon in the double-elimination, semifinal round of the PSAL Class B playoffs at Lafayette Educational Complex in Brooklyn.
Telecom (19-0) will meet No. 1 Construction, which beat No. 12 Jamaica, in the winner’s bracket Tuesday at Forest Hills HS. The winner advances to the championship round Saturday at St. John’s University in Queens. InTech (15-5), which was playing for the third straight day, will meet Jamaica in the loser’s bracket Tuesday.
The Yellow Jackets plated six runs in the sixth inning. They scored four times in the third against InTech starter Yariel Acevedo. Stacey Aquino had an RBI single and Samantha Perez had a sacrifice fly. The Panthers got within 4-2 on a long, two-run home run by Aisha Henry, Araya’s twin sister, in the fifth inning.
“It was a very good fight until their walks,” Telecom starter Tayla Johnson said. “They did a good job.”
Johnson gave up two runs, scattering 13 hits and walking just one. The senior was adept at getting out of jams. InTech left 12 runners aboard in seven innings. That’s the kind of stat line McCartney beams at.
“That’s our game plan,” the coach said. “Make them beat you with hits. Don’t walk anyone.”
Aquino went 1-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored, Vargas went 1-for-4 with two RBIs and both Idalia Herrera and Vianca Ramirez scored twice for the Yellow Jackets. Aisha Henry had the lone two RBIs for the Panthers.
Telecom will get a major challenge Tuesday in Construction, which has dominated the ‘B’ league this spring. The two teams met twice in the preseason Brownsville Recreation Center tournament in Brooklyn and split. The Yellow Jackets beat the Red Hawks, though, without Construction’s ace, Sheila San Andres, in the circle.
“We’re gonna have to play very, very well tomorrow,” McCartney said.
Added Aquino: “They’re a great team. Their pitcher is good. I think it’ll be a great game.”
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019