The Renegades, Stuyvesant’s girls’ softball team, finished off their season with a 10-0 loss to High School for Construction in the second round of the playoffs. In the first round, the Renegades defeated Curtis High School, despite having lost to them in last year’s postseason. Though off to a hot start at beginning of the year, the team struggled towards the end of the season and was unable to maintain its energy in the playoffs.
This lack of energy was apparent in the their loss to Construction; the team failed to ignite its offense which had been so explosive earlier in the season. Over the span of three games from late April to May, the team scored 56 runs. However, in the last four games of the season, the Renegades only put up nine runs, indicative of a decline in the offense.
Junior and co-captain Frankie Michielli attributed the lack of offensive productivity to the increase in tough competition. “[At] the end of the season, we definitely faced some tougher teams that gave us more competition than before,” she said. The last two games of the Renegades’ regular season were losses against the top two teams in their league, and after beating Stuyvesant, Construction advanced to the championship against Port Richmond High School.
During these games, the Renegades struggled against some of the top pitchers in the city, and their inability to perform well against fast pitching was capitalized on by their opponents. Junior and fellow co-captain Charlotte Ruhl agreed that for next year, the team will need to work on hitting against more skilled pitchers—the pitchers who not only throw hard, but work in three or four different pitch types.
One of the major issues the Renegades faced throughout the entire season was their defense. In the team’s 12-2 loss to Manhattan Center, six of the 12 runs scored against the Renegades were on errors. “It was contagious; one error led to another and then another,” coach Vincent Miller said. Though they struggled early in the season, the Renegades worked to fix this and saw improvements. “Our defense got so so much stronger towards the end of the season,” Ruhl said.
The Peglegs were able to excel in their division this year because of their stacked lineup. Ruhl was one of the greatest contributors, leading the division in RBIs (34), standing second in runs (27), and fourth in home runs (5). Sophomore Talia Kirshenbaum brought a charge to the offense, hitting six home runs throughout the season despite an injury that limited her at the end of the season. In games where other aspects of play fell short, the offense saved the Renegades. “We had a bunch of come-from-behind wins because of our offense, ” Miller said.
In games where offense struggled for the Renegades, their pitching limited other teams and helped secure victories. In the Renegades’ first-round victory over the Curtis High School Warriors, Stuyvesant only managed to score three runs but Michielli held the Warriors to two runs. Michielli was dominant on the mound throughout the season, standing in third place in the division in wins (9) and fourth in strikeouts (76).
The Renegades will look to improve more upon their gameplay, but feel confident for next year. “It’s the same group of girls because nobody is graduating, and we already have a great team dynamic,” Ruhl said. Having no players leaving the team will allow the Renegades to focus on their few weaknesses and progress further into the playoffs next year.