Shortly before the field umpire felt the need to shut down Passaic Valley’s classic walk-up music, Shana Donnelly’s first plate appearance was accompanied by Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me to the Moon’.
Donnelly used the song to her benefit, as she pitched six solid innings and also contributed at the plate, as Passaic Valley improved to 3-0 with a key victory over a good West Milford team, 8-5, in Little Falls, on April 8.
Donnelly, a junior, improved to 2-0 on the season while Jada Rodriguez and Taylor Hill hit homers, as PV opened an 8-1 lead after five innings.
Batterymates Shana Donnelly (left) and Brianna DeLuccia, PV’s starting catcher. (Click on photo for larger image)
“I used a few pitches,” said Donnelly. “The backdoor pitch was working, I was coming in and out a little with change ups and the fast ball felt pretty good.”
Donnelly pitched into the seventh before giving way to freshman Sophia Payne. Payne then worked out of a jam after West Milford had scored once.
“I’ll tell you what, Sophia did a nice job in a clutch situation,” said Passaic Valley head coach Kathy Hill. “That was a tough spot, and she threw the ball well.”
With each game, Hill is becoming more confident with her young team.
“We’ve got some good pitchers,” the coach said. “Shana is one of our more experienced kids, but there are others who can throw it, and that will only help us.”
Passaic Valley also received outstanding outfield play, from Madison Leech, Rodriguez and Savannah VanWinkle, a freshman, who was solid in leftfield. At the plate, Rachel Alecci had two hits for the Hornets.
While a win over a quality team in West Milford is always welcomed, Hill wasn’t looking too far ahead.
“It’s a win, and we’ll take it,” she said. “But it’s one win, and we’ve got a busy week coming up. We have to keep that intensity with each game. I am happy that these kids are really bonding and supporting each other. As a coach, that’s really important to see.”
Passaic Valley once again used the long ball to its advantage. Taylor hit her third homer in as many games in the third inning, on a 3-1 fastball, while Rodriguez crushed one over the left field fence for a 3-run homer in the second inning, when PV opened a 5-1 lead.
“Jada has good power,” said Coach Hill. “I’m not surprised she could go opposite field on that homer. She can be a force in our lineup, for sure.”
OPINION: As far as the field umpire at the game, who decided that a six-second song, per batter, before the batter entered the box, was too much, here’s a thought.
No one needs to hear you clear your throat and act like you’re the be-all and end-all of a high school softball game.
These are kids playing a game. You’re there to make sure a player is safe, or out, in the field, and that the game is played properly, within the rules of high school softball.
There are plenty of schools that announce a player’s name before they step into the box, there are plenty of schools which play music in between innings. It’s called entertainment.
It’s not your place to take away an enjoyable time for kids and fans to hear a song, for a grand total of six seconds. which in no way interferes with a pitcher throwing, or a batter hitting.