Brittany Teman walked off the field, tears in her eyes, and went into the school.
As the door closed behind her, the bottom of the sixth inning was set to begin.
"I had to step away for a second and brush it off," she said. "I just washed my face, washed my hands and took a deep breath."
Teman had just misplayed a fly ball that went over her head and resulted in a tying grand slam in the top of the sixth inning. But a half-hour or so later, she walked off the field and into the school once again. And this time she did so to a standing ovation . . . and with a big smile on her face.
Teman redeemed herself with a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning, giving second-seeded Oceanside a 6-5 win over No. 3 Massapequa in Game 3 of the Nassau Class AA semifinals. The Sailors will face top-seeded MacArthur in the county championship series, with Game 1 scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. at Hofstra.
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"I was trying to clear my head and not focus on the situation," Teman said of her approach at the plate. "But I had motive to really hit the ball and get that run in to win the game for our team."
With runners on first and second and two outs in the seventh, Teman singled up the middle to bring home Alyssa Hernandez and send the Sailors to the county finals for the second consecutive season.
"It's a huge relief," Teman said. "I didn't want our season to end here. I knew we deserved to be back. So this means a lot."
With Oceanside up 5-1 in the sixth, Francesca Cuttitta doubled, Monica Hoar singled and Darby Pandolfo walked to load the bases with two outs. Krista Carcaterra then drilled a fly ball to deep rightfield that went over Teman's head.
"I got stuck, a little nervous," Teman said. "I didn't run my heart out. I got really emotional and started crying."
So she took a moment for herself, splashed some water on her face, took a deep breath -- and delivered the game-winning hit.
"I saw her get down out there, so for her to come back and be able to drive that ball and get that game-winning hit is absolutely amazing," Oceanside coach Joe Supple said. "She's a senior who deserves it."
Carcaterra tossed 61/3 innings for No. 3 Massapequa (14-8), allowing 11 hits, one walk and three earned runs with three strikeouts.
Oceanside's Grace Bandini went 4-for-4, including a one-out double in the seventh inning. Taylor Eisel (2-for-4) hit a two-run triple during a four-run rally with two outs in the second inning that gave Oceanside (16-6) a 5-1 advantage.
"This feels awesome," Eisel said. "After last year, this has been our goal for over a year now and we're so ready for it."
Sabrina Seeger, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, hit her spots and limited the damage in the circle. She allowed five runs, 11 hits and two walks with six strikeouts.
Supple called the sophomore pitcher's performance her best of the year because of her ability to battle through against a quality team.
"I wasn't worried about the grand slam because I knew we would come back from it," Seeger said. "You just gotta shake it off. I was really happy because we worked so hard for this."
As for Teman's game-winning hit, Seeger said: "She wanted that. And we wanted that for her."
Last season, the Sailors fell to East Meadow in the county finals. Like Teman (and thanks to Teman), they'll get a shot at redemption.
"Last year will be a little motivation for these girls," Supple said. "They know what it feels like to walk off in the championship round losing. So our plan this year is to come out on top."