Kerri Shapiro's 1-hitter leads East Meadow to LI Class AA title
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Kerri Shapiro and her East Meadow teammates gathered around the plaque and raised their index fingers into the air. It could have stood for many things:
The one base runner that Shapiro allowed.
The one last day of high school that the seniors will miss on Friday because of the state tournament.
The one and only Long Island championship that the East Meadow softball program had finally captured.
Each and every one of those things were a result of Shapiro's dominant one-hit shutout Wednesday as East Meadow defeated Longwood, 7-0, in the Long Island Class AA final at Dowling Sports Complex.
"This goes down in history," said Shapiro, who also tossed a one-hitter in the county championship clincher. "One day people will be like, 'Do you remember that team?' and it will put a smile on my face."
Shapiro struck out nine and allowed only a two-out single to Kylie Spillett in the first before retiring the final 19 batters. Thanks in part to her dominance, the seniors on the team will miss their final day of high school on Friday to travel to Glens Falls.
"No, not when it's for this," senior first baseman Dina LaRosa said. "I would miss anything to have this opportunity."
Shapiro also went 3-for-4 and ignited a four-run third inning with a single to score Claire Travis and Marisa San Antonio, giving East Meadow a 2-0 lead. Madison West followed with an RBI ground out and later took third on a wild pitch and came home on an overthrow to make it 4-0.
After singles by Danielle Cutuli and Shapiro put runners on the corners, Cutuli scored on a wild pitch and Dina LaRosa knocked in another run with an RBI single for a 6-0 lead. Claire Travis doubled in Taylor Conti in the seventh. LaRosa and Travis each finished 2-for-3 with an RBI.
"I'm in a daze, we all are," Travis said. "It took a lot for all of us to come together and accomplish such a great win."
East Meadow (17-8) advances to the state semifinals at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Adirondack Sports Complex in Queensbury.
Cutuli, a six-year varsity starter, went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and recorded the final out of the game on a grounder to short. She says it made up for the final out she made in the 2010 Long Island championship, hitting a ground out to the pitcher in a 1-0 loss to Bay Shore.
"It's definitely come full circle," she said with a laugh. "This is an incredible feeling for all of us. We made history. But it's not over yet, we still have to accomplish one more thing."
Maybe that's what those fingers in the air were for.