QUEENSBURY, N.Y. - For a while, Sayville’s sequel was eerily similar to the original.
The main characters were back in their leading roles: Cindy Griffin was driving in the go-ahead run. Kerry Keenan was pinch hitting with the tying run in scoring position. Emily Sellitti was putting the Golden Flashes on the cusp of a state title.
The setting was almost exact: The game took place the day before the one-year anniversary of Sayville’s first state championship.
The scenery was nearly identical: The home run fence at the field they played on yesterday was a mere 100 feet from home plate at the field they won on last year.
Yes, Sayville softball fans had seen this movie before. But the ending wasn’t quite as happy this time around. A relentless Sayville team was six outs away from victory but ultimately fell short of a repeat, losing 5-3 to Hamburg in the Class A state championship game at Adirondack Sports Complex.
“It meant a lot coming here," said senior shortstop Sellitti, who went 2-for-4 in the final. “But I really wanted to win. We fell short of our goal….But there’s no shoulda, coulda, woulda. We left it all on the field.”
Allison Salerno lined a single over the first base bag to bring home the go-ahead run and give Hamburg a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Bridget Hogan, who held Sayville to four hits, followed with an RBI single to tack on another run.
Keenan, who had a pinch-hit RBI single to tie the score last year, again brought home the tying run after getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the top of the sixth inning.
“It’s hard to win twice in a row,” she said. “Just to get back here again is a great accomplishment.”
Griffin opened the scoring with a bloop single to score Lyndsey Shaw, giving Sayville a 1-0 lead in the third inning. After Hamburg tied it in the bottom half of the inning, Shaw scored again in the fifth on an error at shortstop off a grounder by Jess Griffin as Sayville took a 2-1 lead. Heather Haberman then drilled a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to put Hamburg back on top, 3-2.
“It’s every athletes dream to get here,” said senior second baseman Jackie Christensen. “We came back multiple times this season to win titles this season, we just came up short today.”
That included winning three straight games with the season on the line, capped by a five-run rally in the seventh inning to win the county title.
“A second title would have been amazing,” senior Maria Slager said. “But we came further than anyone thought we would.”
Julia Simpson struck out four and allowed only two earned runs in the final.
Simpson hit a go-ahead two-run single in the fifth inning of Sayville’s 6-4 win over Troy in the semifinals earlier yesterday. Chrissy Milone went 3-for-4 in the win and Jess Griffin and Sellitti each collected two hits.Cindy Griffin went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
“This has been a once in a lifetime opportunity," Cindy Griffin said. “We couldn’t get it done a second time. But it did kind of seem like history was repeating itself.”
For a while, it was.