On the East Rockaway softball team, two girls in particular tend to stay close together. One plays in back of the other in the field, one bats in front of the other. Oh, and it just so happens that they were born within minutes of each other.
Twins Kerrianne and Marykate Vulpis won a county championship together Monday as their proud father, Dominick Vulpis, who is also the East Rockaway athletic director, watched from the stands.
The sisters helped the Rocks defeat Friends Academy, 8-2, to complete a two-game sweep in the best-of-three Nassau Class C championship series at Mitchel Athletic Complex.
"It's everything I've ever wanted,'' senior shortstop Kerrianne Vulpis said. "But it's a pretty awesome feeling for everyone, not just us.''
Cara Camerada, who went 2-for-4, got things started early, drilling a ball to left-centerfield for a two-run home run in the first inning. "I've been waiting to do that all season,'' Camerada said. "I was able to pull through.''
The Rocks batted around in a five-run fourth, which started with some heads-up baserunning by Samantha Mantovani, who went 2-for-4.
With runners on first and second, Marykate Vulpis lifted a fly ball to rightfield. As the throw came in to second base, where Katie Seifer was ruled safe, Mantovani advanced to third and kept going, scoring easily. Kerrianne Vulpis followed with an RBI single and later scored, along with Camerada, on an overthrow to third. Jessica Depultski scored on a wild pitch for a 7-0 lead.
Gianna Cilluffo threw a complete game, allowing five hits and no earned runs. Erin Gluck hit a leadoff triple and scored on an error in the fourth to get Friends Academy (3-11) on the board. Claudia Ratner added a run-scoring single to cut the lead to 7-2.
East Rockaway (13-8) advances to play the Suffolk Class C champion on June 4.
"I'm so proud of everyone," Cilluffo said. "We definitely deserve this.''