It was tough to determine if the stiff breeze that persisted at the Berner Middle School softball field was the result of Mother Nature or Patti Callahan.
The pitcher fanned a career-high 20 batters in Carey's 2-1, 11-inning win over Massapequa in Conference AA-I Wednesday. Oh, and she didn't allow a hit.
The senior meticulously worked her curveball and screwball on the outside corners and overpowered with her riser.
There were a couple of noisy foul balls, opposite-field pokes that missed the rightfield line. But really, no ball threatened her no-hitter. It was a no-no-plus.
"This is definitely my favorite," Callahan said of her second no-hitter. The first was in ninth grade. "The other one didn't go extras and this is sweeter because I really had to work for it."
For 10 innings her friend and former travel ball teammate Mary Sieber matched her zeroes. Using a similar repertoire and strategy (screwballs and curves), she allowed four hits - two in extra innings - and struck out a career-high 16.
"Mary pitched a hell of a game," Callahan said.
"Nobody had a chance at touching Patti," Sieber said.
The runs came via the International Rule that starts the 10th and ensuing innings with a runner at second.
The Seahawks (8-2) opened the 11th with Kerry Gilroy on and Brianne Catalano singled to right. The throw went to the catcher, holding Gilroy at third, but allowing Catalano to move to second. Mariella Castellano's soft grounder to second scored Gilroy and Catalano came home on a passed ball.
Gilroy said the run was "huge." With a grin, Brenda Hardman, Carey's catcher, said there wasn't much pressure to score. "We have that much confidence in Patti," she said.
"I knew I had the no-hitter going, but I didn't care at that point," Callahan said. "I just wanted to win and have this game be over."
But the Chiefs (4-6) made it interesting. Monica Capolongo's grounder to first moved Kimberly Giurlando to third. After a walk and a strikeout, Kellie Gong grounded to third, but the throw sailed over first, allowing a run to score. The ball was recovered and thrown in to Hardman, who fired to third to nail Gong.
And Callahan had her no-no.
"Wow," Carey coach Anthony Turco said. "That's her best, grittiest performance ever."