By DAVE O’SULLIVAN
Staff Writer
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP —
Yesterday, the Absegami softball team lost a heartbreaker when Ocean City’s Jackie Nesi stroked a walk-off RBI single as the Red Raiders topped the Braves, 5-4. Thu Deo made sure Absegami bounced right back against Lower Cape May Regional today, as the junior second baseman continued to put on a show at the plate.
Deo had 19 hits in each of her first two years, but she’s already equaled that output in the Braves’ first eight games this spring. She went 4-for-4 with a double and three runs scored as Absegami blanked the Caper Tigers, 12-0, to improve to 6-2. Gabbie Cournoyer added three hits and three runs and Melissa Hirst chipped in with two hits, including a double, and two runs scored as the Braves unleashed a 10-hit attack.
“She’s a beast right now,” third baseman Sydnee Scozzafava said of Deo. “She’s doing great and I’m so proud of her. Everything she does, we need it. Our team is good both offensively and defensively. I feel really good about our season.”
“Last year, and in my freshman year, I didn’t really hit that well. I only got 19 hits (each year), and now I’m at 19 already, so I’m pretty excited about that. Everybody on the team is hitting so well,” Deo said. “I practiced a lot with my travel team, Intensity, and had really great travel coaches like Joe Brennan. He helped me out a lot. I’ve had great coaches (with travel and at Absegami) helping me out a lot.”
The Braves also got a boost from freshman pitcher Kaylin Flukey, who fanned four and allowed just three hits to pick up the win. Flukey missed the entire preseason after suffering a broken finger during the volleyball season. Scozzafava said she’s happy Flukey is rounding into form quickly.
“I’m the second pitcher this year, so I’m very grateful for her because I didn’t want to have to pitch all the games. I was very happy that she’s come along. I’m a third baseman,” Scozzafava said. “She plays with Becca (Roesch) on her travel team, so she fits right in with us.”
Absegami jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, then rallied for four runs in the second to push the lead to 6-0. Hirst ripped an RBI double and Brianna Camp added a run-scoring single before Becca Roesch chipped in with a sacrifice fly. The Braves kept tacking on runs, adding three more in the third and a pair in the fourth in support of Flukey. Camp’s RBI single highlighted the three-run rally in the third, and Deo ripped an RBI double in the fourth.
Deo said the Braves wanted to rebound quickly from Wednesday’s 5-4 loss to Ocean City.
“Every day is a brand new day. Every day we have to out there, hit, field, do everything better,” she said. “We have to make the routine plays, and go out there and show ourselves.”
“We just needed to keep our heads up and try our best,” Scozzafava said. “We needed to realize that with every play and every pitch there’s a chance to get better.”
Contact Dave O’Sullivan: sully@acglorydays.com; on Twitter @GDsullysays