Kerri Shapiro, Danielle Cutuli spark East Meadow
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There was a wide range of emotions during Wednesday's's game for East Meadow's Kerri Shapiro and Danielle Cutuli. But in the end, both were all smiles.
Shapiro had just surrendered the lead and wasn't happy about it. Fortunately, a bat comes in handy when looking to release some frustration. After all, what better to take her anger out on than the ball itself?
"I was angry when I came up to the plate,'' Shapiro said. "I knew I needed to do something and make a statement . . . and I did.''
Hitting the go-ahead home run is an effective form of anger management. Shapiro drilled a two-run shot to deep centerfield that put East Meadow back in front en route to a 10-6 win over MacArthur in the Conference AA-I opener for both teams.
Cutuli had just stepped to the plate for her first at-bat in league play and she was very happy about it. After missing the majority of her junior season with a back injury, she was just happy to be back on the field . . . and happier when she had a perfect day at the plate.
"It's tough to just sit there and watch,'' Cutuli said. "But I'm back now and it feels great. I thought I had a very good game, but it was a whole team effort. Everyone was hitting the ball hard.''
None harder than Cutuli, who went 3-for-3 with four RBIs. That included a sacrifice fly to open the scoring in the third, a two-out single to tie it at 4 in the fourth, and a two-run single that capped a four-run fifth inning and opened a 10-4 lead.
Taylor Conti opened the scoring in the fifth with an RBI triple to right, and Claire Travis followed with a single to bring her home.
Kristen Arbiter hit a two-run homer to the gap in left-center to bring MacArthur within 3-2 in the fourth. After the tying run scored on a dropped pop-up, Jena Cozza singled up the middle off Shapiro to give MacArthur a 4-3 lead.
But Shapiro, who also hit an RBI double in the third, wouldn't be angry for long.
"When your team smiles after a hit like that,'' Shapiro said, "it makes you feel like you did something right.''
And everyone goes home happy.