The Sayville softball team has an odd connection with its home field.
“Before the game, we all would dip our fingers in the dirt and eat it, so our home field is with us,” shortstop Angie Capuano said. “And we’ve been doing it ever since the counties.”
It’s only crazy if it doesn’t work.
Capuano hit a walk-off RBI single that scored Elizabeth Yoskowitz to give Sayville a 5-4 win over Mepham in the Long Island Class A championship/Southeast Regional final on Friday at the Eastport Complex.
“There’s tradition from that,” coach Tiffany Rowan said. “That’s our home field. We protect that. That’s our place. We’re comfortable there, so it was like, ‘Let’s start bringing dirt wherever we go.’ "
The Sayville dirt will be on the move again as the Golden Flashes advance to play the winner of Jamesville-DeWitt/Ballstop Spa in a Class A state semifinal June 15 at 9 a.m. at Moreau Recreational Park in South Glens Falls.
Sayville (24-1) trailed 4-3 entering the bottom of the seventh inning before Yoskowitz’s RBI single tied the score at 4. Two batters later, Capuano delivered the winning hit.
“Before the game even started, we said, ‘We’re not losing, we’re not going down today,' ” said Yoskowitz, who went 3-for-4. “We couldn’t even picture ourselves going home crying.”
Sarah Blaskiewitz had a two-run single to give the Golden Flashes a 2-0 lead in the second inning and Gianna LaSpina had a bases-clearing double to give Mepham (21-3) a 3-2 advantage in the top of the sixth inning.
Julia Kaczmarek had a single to drive in Capuano to tie the score at 3 for Sayville in the bottom of the sixth inning and Jenna Giliberti had an RBI single to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh inning.
There was a protest filed by Mepham following the conclusion of the fourth inning. Sayville pitcher Maddie Recker had some of the field dirt in her back pocket, which she would reach into between pitchers for a better feel of the ball. Following a 12-minute break, the protest was denied and play resumed in the top of the fifth inning.
“I was a little freaked out,” Recker said, “but I was able to pull it back in and be like ‘I got this. It doesn’t matter what people say. Just do what you have to do.”
“Having dirt in her pocket isn’t a violation in order to what the umpires and protest committee determined,” Section XI softball chairman Jim Wright said. “The pitcher’s not gaining an advantage and there’s nothing in the rules that says she can’t have it.”