The Nyack softball team won its first three games this season heading into Friday's home game against Pearl River.
Even with the fast start, Indians' Head Coach Stephanie Ryan knew confidence could be an issue for her team against the four-time defending section champion Pirates.
"It's getting them to believe in themselves," Ryan said. "Pearl River has that aura about them. Everything about them. It's intimidating watching them.
"They will take advantage of any mistakes. You can't let up anywhere. You have to play your A game against them just to be in there."
Nyack was unable to do that, making three errors in the first and seven in the game, as Pearl River started fast and cruised to a 13-3 victory.
Eight of Pearl River's nine batters had at least one of the team's 14 hits and everyone in the lineup reached base at least once. The Pirates drew six walks and stole six bases.
"Everyone can hit. I think we made that pretty clear," Pearl River third baseman Amanda Hartigan said. "There really is no weakness."
"The biggest threat on their team is their speed," Ryan said. "The 1-2 (batters) and the bottom (of the lineup). They get it on the ground and they're one. To me, that is a bigger threat than a girl who can hit a long fly ball. And once they are on, they are scoring.
"It's stopping their short game, which they are known for."
Shortstop Sam Alicandri continued to spark the offense from the leadoff spot. She singled and came around to score three times and stole two bases. Two of her hits were bunt singles.
No. 2 hitter Kristyn Neroda reached base her first three times at bat with two hits and a walk; the second hit a two-run single in the third inning.
"It was nice to come in today and get a few hits," Neroda said. "Our lineup has so much depth. We don't have a point in our lineup that is really, really weak."
Neroda got the Pirates started with a one-out single in the first inning. She came around to score Pearl River's first run on an error. Sophomore catcher Deirdre O'Malley made it 3-0 with a two-run single.
The Pirates added three more runs in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Mandy McCarthy, an error and Harting's two-out RBI single.
Nyack rallied for two in the bottom of the second, with both runs coming home on Pearl River errors. All three of the Indians' runs against Pirates' pitcher Caroline Kardashian were unearned. Kardashian gave up five hits and struck out eight in six innings.
"She was up and down. Not as consistent as I would like," Carlacci said. "When her pitches are working, she's tough. We were a little sloppy behind her."
She also got some help defensively, including two tough plays by Hartigan at third base and some long fly balls that Neroda tracked down in center field.
One she couldn't quite get led to Nyack's final run of the game. Shortstop Tiffany Salcito reached second base when her deep line drive to center field bounced off Neroda's glove, then came in to score on Megan Sneeden's RBI single, but that was all the Indians would get.
"She's just solid all around," Ryan said of Salcito. "She's like our Derek Jeter. Her leadership on and off the field. Her mindset."
McCarthy continued her hot hitting for Pearl River with a triple, a single, two RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base. O'Malley had three hits and Harting singled twice.
Sneeden singled, walked, drove in a run and scored one for Nyack.
Pearl River (3-0) will play its next game noon Saturday at Pelham.
Pearl River 13, Nyack 3
Pearl River 332 130 1 -- 13 14 3
Nyack 021 000 0 -- 3 5 7
WP: Caroline Kardashian; LP: Mackenzie Johnson
2B: PR -- Amanda Sullivan; 3B: PR -- Mandy McCarthy