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Friday, August 18, 2017

The Ma’ayanot Rapids championship team

June 11, 2017. History was made yet again. The Ma’ayanot Rapids washed away the SAR Sting. In Coach Yoni Lieber’s four years as coach, the mighty Ma’ayanot Rapids softball team has beaten the SAR Sting in the championships twice—2015 and 2017. How did they win? With that I present the most exciting softball game that the yeshiva league has ever had.

Back in Teaneck, the Rapids boarded the luxurious yellow school bus, packed up their gear, and proceeded to make their way to the Bronx. It was no easy task as the weather was quite brutal: 97 degrees, sunny and barely any wind. After the long ride (traffic) they finally made it to the field, and realized that nearby residents heard about the game and brought their family and friends for some Sunday fun. Needless to say the bleachers were packed, with many people standing to witness such a monumental game.

Offensively, it began with Michal Meisels (’20) on third, Adina Falk (’17) on second, Sarah Berman (’18) on third and Noa Applebaum (’17) at bat. Noa hit to second base and got out, but Michal was able to come home giving Ma’ayanot the lead 1-0. Thanks to impeccable fielding skills, they were able to hold SAR to that score.

The first out of the game was crazy incredible. There was a player at first who ran to second once the batter hit, and the player at first was called safe. However, she took her foot off the base, giving Mia Nissel (’19) the opportunity to tag her and get her out. It. Was. Incredible. Mia made another out when pitcher Noa Applebaum passed her the ball to second. The next two outs of the inning were made by Adira Levine (’18) with an incredible catch at first, and Noa Applebaum with the first strikeout of the game (Noa had six more, but who’s counting?). The second inning made history, as Noa made all three outs consecutively: two strikeouts and a fabulous catch of an infield fly.

To the unbreakable, unstoppable, incredible outfield for their impeccable plays this game: they are the Wonder Women that Gal Gadot could never play. They are softball legends. Adina Falk, aka the red-hot gal, made an outstanding catch, which had the crowd in a long applause. Leah Markowitz (’19) saved the day when she practically slid on the ground to make a show stopping out. Kathryn Weinberg (’17), or shall we say Kate Middleton. Kate, much like Leah, left jaws dropped when she caught a pop up that she had to run to catch. It was, as Barney Stinson said, legen-wait for it-dairy. And last, but not least, Michal Meisels. Michal made two incredible outs in the fourth and sixth innings.

Preceding Adina’s out was an out made by none other than Alissa Felder (’17), who began the first of the three consecutive outs in the third inning. Alissa caught a concerning ball, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

Tali Antosofsky (’18) came in clutch twice this game, catching a crazy infield pop up in the fifth inning, and making an outstanding double play that will go down in yeshiva league softball history. Tali caught the ball that the SAR player hit, making the second out of the inning, and then realized that there was a player who had been at first and ran to second. Fun fact: that player had to remain at first base, because the ball was caught. That player was unaware of the rule, and ran to second, so Tali threw the ball to Adira Levine making the third and final out, and bringing the Ma’ayanot Rapids the championship for the third year in a row.

Pause for a moment, and trace backwards, to the very beginning. It’s time to take a moment and congratulate Noa Applebaum on four years of incredible pitching, and three years of being the pitcher for a leading team. In this season alone Noa has struck out over 40 batters, and made and assisted over 15 plays. Although Noa will be very much missed, the beloved pitcher is helping an incoming freshman improve her pitching skills in order to play for the Rapids next season.

Fast forward a tad. Readers, WE WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP! The mighty Ma’ayanot Rapids won the championship softball game against SAR! This could not have been possible without our wonderful team of girls: Tali Antosofsky, Noa Applebaum, Sarah Berman, Adina Falk, Alissa Felder, Lilly Fuchs, Chana Kolber, Adira Levine, Rebecca Malech, Leah Markowitz, Michal Meisels, Mia Nissel, Danielle Pasternack, Tamar Pasternack, Nili Raskas, Sol Emunah Richter, Miriam Rubin, Hannah Samuel, Kate Weinberg and Dassi Zelig. The team was led by wonderful captains Danielle Pasternack, Adina Falk, Sarah Berman and Noa Applebaum, as well as Coaches Kayla Applebaum Levine and Yoni Lieber. The team could not have gotten to the championship if not for the incredible guidance from the amazing coaches and the enthusiasm for softball that the entire group shares.

When handing out the trophies, Coach Yoni Lieber got emotional saying farewell to our four outstanding seniors. “It was a bitter-sweet moment because they were on the team for four years at the longest, gave it their all and are now heading into the real world and into adult life.” They will all be missed!!!

By Shalva Faber