Last week, Tonimarie Valeriano threw a no-hitter to earn the nickname "Valeriano-no." This week, she's "ValeriUNO."
The Mepham pitcher tossed her second consecutive one-hitter Saturday in a 6-0 win over Carey in a Conference AA-I softball game.
"I've just been executing pitches," she said, "hitting spots and working well with my catcher."
Valeriano-doubt about that.
She walked four and struck out 13, including the side in the seventh inning to close out the game. She carried a no-hitter into the top of the sixth inning before allowing a sharp line-drive hit with two outs to Keva Moore, causing the slight tweak to Valeriano's nickname.
"Should have thrown a different pitch," she said of a screwball she'd like to have back. "But it's all right, a no-hitter and one-hitter is pretty much the same."
Over her last two starts, she has allowed two hits and no runs with 23 strikeouts, propelling Mepham (6-2) to first place in Nassau's top ability based conference.
Valeriano also was 2-for-4 at the plate and she had the first hit of Saturday's game, a bloop single into shallow centerfield that scored Christine Rizzacasa for a 1-0 lead in the third inning.
Ashley Boscarino was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, including a chopper up the middle in the fourth that brought home two runs and increased the Pirates' lead to 3-0.
"I got a good pitch and I went with it," she said. "I was in a slump before that. I was just happy to get on base."
Ashley Turato allowed only three earned runs and struck out two in six innings for Carey (4-4).
Mary Galgano added an RBI single in the sixth and Amanda Fucci went 2-for-2 with a run scored for Mepham, winners of five of six.
"We have a lot of confidence in this team that we can get it done this year," said Rizzacasa, Mepham's leadoff hitter. "We get hits in really important situations with runners on and our pitcher has been lights out lately with her no-hitter and one-hitters. When she's throwing like that, we have nothing to worry about."