For Amanda McKay, it's the perfect bookend to a career.
As an eighth-grader, McKay pitched Babylon to a Suffolk final win.
"I didn't know what it was supposed to feel like," she said. "And when it happened it felt amazing, and I automatically thought the next year we would get there."
Babylon reached the Suffolk finals in each of McKay's first three years in high school but never was able to clinch another series victory, losing 4-3 to Hampton Bays in Game 3 in 2008 and 2009. But all that changed Thursday when Babylon swept Center Moriches to reclaim the Suffolk Class B title.
"This year coming into it, I was not going to lose," said McKay, who pitched a six-inning perfect game against Center Moriches on April 21. "My senior year, I wanted it so bad, and there was nothing more I wanted than to win that game. And the feeling is indescribable."
After a 17-1 regular season, Babylon romped through the playoffs, beating Center Moriches 5-2 and 13-4 in the finals.
Of course McKay wasn't the only star. Christine Desiderio is hitting .610, batting leadoff and setting the table for the rest of the Babylon lineup. She was 3-for-6 with two walks and three runs in the finals.
"She's been almost impossible to keep off the bases," coach Rick Punzone said. "Whenever she gets on, good things happen."
Then there's Tiana Giuliano. A starter since seventh grade, the sophomore was hurt for most of 2009 and had to have shoulder surgery in October. A dominating hurler when healthy, Giuliano mostly concentrated on hitting this season, to great effect. She knocked in the go-ahead run in Game 1 of the finals and was 3-for-4 with three runs, five RBIs and a bases-clearing triple in Game 2.
"With her not being able to play last year, she's been a little hungrier," Punzone said. "She wants to get back to that status. She wants to be the one, the girl, the one taking the ball or hitting in a big spot."
Giuliano should get her chance next season with McKay at East Stroudsburg University. But for this season, there's still one more task for McKay.
After winning the Suffolk finals in eighth grade, McKay and Babylon lost to Oyster Bay, 5-3, in the Long Island championship game. This year, she's determined not to let history repeat itself when Babylon faces Oyster Bay on June 8 at Nanuet High School.
"I'm gonna go as hard as I can, pitch as hard as I can and give it everything I've got," she said.
It's the perfect bookend to her career. She just hopes the last chapter turns out a bit differently.