Science learns lesson, then schools opponents


The Bronx Science softball team has been a formidable program for a while now. With two straight Bronx A Division crowns in the past two seasons, and with the Wolverines seemingly on their way to a third consecutive title, seeing Science lose a conference game occurs about as often as you have to renew your passport. Give or take.

So when Science came out on the short end of a 6-5 decision to Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy on April 20, it came as a bit of a surprise. 

Science coach Thomas Morris, though, disputes the loss because Science’s game versus RKA was halted after the top of the sixth because of a permit problem, and right after the Wolverines had scored five runs in the top of the inning to take a 10-6 lead. But when the game was halted, the score reverted back to the previous inning, and with RKA up, 6-5, the Tigers were awarded the victory. 

Morris is hoping the Public School Athletic League will step in and rule that the game should be completed at a later date. But while the outcome of that game still remains cloudy, one thing it did do was serve as a reality check for Science as the Wolverines followed with three straight blowout victories. 

The latest of those impressive outings came last week when the Wolverines hung a 12-2 decision on IN-Tech, to run their season record to 7-1 in the Bronx A. 

“I think it was a wake-up call for us,” Morris said. “First of all, we realized we weren’t as good as we thought we were, and it gave us more of a push to get back to more fundamental softball. We went back to work. 

“There were a lot of things we needed to work on. We were throwing to the wrong base and we were making errors. so it was some humble pie for us.”

Science wasted little time getting to work against IN-Tech as the Wolverines plated four runs in the first inning and six more in the second to take an early 10-0 lead. The key hit in the first came on Fiona Sullivan’s grand slam with Ava Cutler’s two-run homer being the big blow in the second. 

That was more than enough run support for starting pitcher Anna Leidner, who cruised through five innings to pick up the win as the Wolverines’ winning streak increased to three straight, outscoring opponents 53-14 in that span.

Wake-up call? You bet. 

“I think in that (RKA) game, we were in a bad mindset, so we started off a bit rocky,” Sullivan said. “Then when the game got cut off at the end we felt we should have done better, and now we want to show that we can do better.”

Science has indeed done better since that RKA game, and barring a total collapse in the final two weeks of the regular season — and you’d have a better chance of spotting Bigfoot in Van Cortlandt Park — the Wolverines seem on their way to a third straight divisional title. 

And with premium starting pitchers like Leidner and Cutler — combined with an offense that also includes Brett Zakheim, Kendal Chapman, Alexa Asch and Sullivan among others — are the Wolverines the best of the best in the Bronx?

“Oh yeah, definitely,” Morris said. “I told them the only thing that’s going to keep us from our goals this year is ourselves. And with Anna and Ava, it’s such a good feeling to know you’re going to get that type of pitching every time out, and we have a chance to win every game.” 

With four games scheduled this week, including a rematch with RKA, the Wolverines will look to lock up another division crown and get ready for the PSAL playoffs later this month.

So might a deep postseason run be in the cards for Bronx Science?

“I think so, definitely,” Sullivan said. “We went pretty far last year, so we want to get back in the playoffs and go even farther this year. We’re going to work our hardest to do that.”