Kristen Bricker wasn't going to be denied during the Suffolk Class A softball final for fourth-seeded Sayville in its winner-take-all title game against No. 1 Miller Place.
In just about all of her plate appearances, the first baseman and cleanup hitter had an impact. None was bigger than her final one, the big shot in a five-run seventh inning of the Golden Flashes' 9-6 road win.
Latest HS sports stories
Bricker's two-run single helped Sayville (22-4) capture its second consecutive county title. The defending Class A state champs move on to face Island Trees in the Long Island championship at 3 p.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph's.
"Nothing was going to stop me from helping my team," said Bricker, who was 3-for-4, with four RBIs and a run. "I was just so pumped up it's ridiculous. I was trying to be aggressive, not timid. To experience this with this team is amazing."
Trailing 6-4 heading into the seventh, Sayville pinch hitter Kerry Keenan followed starting pitcher Julia Simpson's leadoff ground-rule double with a double of her own to give the Golden Flashes some hope.
"Julie's double got it started and then we had her back," said Emily Sellitti, who scored twice, including the go-ahead run in the seventh. "We always do. This is honestly so emotional."
After Sellitti singled, Jess and Cindy Griffin also reached base, setting the stage for Bricker.
Simpson returned to the circle in the seventh and retired the side in order to give Sayville its seventh county title in program history.
"I didn't give up on my team," said Simpson, who was 2-for-4, with an RBI. "We have to pick each other up. We wanted this. Everyone was ready to go."
Miller Place (19-5), the League VI champs, were led by Taylor Ludewig, who was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. The Panthers took the first three meetings between the two teams, including the first of three second-round postseason games, before falling to Sayville yesterday and Friday.
Miller Place had a two-run advantage three times in this one, giving Tori Carlo good reason to believe her ballclub can get it done next time around.
"No one thought we'd get this far," said Carlo, who finished 2-for-4, with a run scored. "Our whole team is strong. It's a tough loss, but we'll get it next year. I'm looking forward to it."