- Posted: 1:41 AM, June 2, 2012
For Tottenville and Susan Wagner the thing they will likely remember most about their experience in the softball final this year is how the finality of the moment was altered for the worse because of poor planning by the PSAL.
The Pirates' eventual 3-1 win had to be played over two days after the game was suspended Wednesday night in the top of the fifth inning because of darkness. St. John's University's Red Storm Field does not have lights. It was picked up there Thursday. Athletes' careers were put on hold for a few hours and the same genuine emotion that comes with a title game couldn’t be recreated in such a small time.
“Playing two different daysm that kind of ruins the moment,” Pirates ace Cheryl Lopez said.
The players deserved better than this from an organization that claims to be the best league in the country. Not just in the finals, but throughout the entire playoffs. Sure, like PSAL executive director Donald Douglas said, the constant rain threw a monkey wrench into the schedule.
Ultimately though, it was a lack of common sense and decision making that did in the 2012 playoffs. That includes teams not knowing when and where the semifinals would be played deep into the night hours before they might have had to take the field. Each coach had heard a different answer.
The championship game was just the ultimate example. It was the PSAL that was left in the dark.
With no disrespect to any of the Class B teams, those games can take some time to complete. The play just isn’t as crisp as the ‘A’ is. The two-hour window the PSAL allowed is usually just enough to get in that game in, let alone two sets of league leader awards ceremonies and the championship trophy presentation. A 3:30 p.m. start would have been ideal and 4 p.m. would have been just fine, but 4:30 p.m. turned into 4:45 p.m.
PSAL officials were lucky Morris settled down and a nine-run Lab Museum United first inning wasn’t the norm the rest of the way with no run rule in the championship game. Also Gators ace Sarah D’Amico struck out 15 batters limiting the amount of time those half innings took. Another 20 minutes and the Class A game would have lasted just a half hour after starting at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Why even start the game at that point? Imagine the two teams' parents having to be told to travel back to Staten Island without a pitch being thrown. The games ended up taking an hour and 16 minutes to complete over two days.
“It’s different,” Wagner senior Taylor Sarcone said Wednesday. “I’ve never really heard of this, … We got to [restart] somewhere I guess.”
Tottenville coach Cathy Morano was visibly upset Wednesday night as the PSAL changed its mind multiple times about when and where the game was resumed. It further showed the league’s inability to make a decision.
First, Douglas said the game would be at St. John’s and the league didn’t like making choices on who was playing in the game as to where it should be. Then he said they would try to play the game at the College of Staten Island on Friday, unsure if they could even get the field. Finally cooler and more competent heads – Morano and Altieri – prevailed saying they would play the next day to avoid possible rain on the weekend.
“We just had to keep our heads up and forget everything that happened yesterday,” Tottenville senior Jennifer Palase said of moving forward.
The players – for whom all of this is about – deserved better than how their championship game was handled and how it unfolded. The moment of victory seemed to be over before it started as the Tottenville players circled Red Storm Field with the championship banner.
No one will forget the 2012 postseason, but not just because of what happened on the field.