Before the game, East Rockaway softball coach Joe Lores removed Leanne Wright from the batting order, but kept her in centerfield, telling Wright "there are no small parts.” Wright proved this Friday.
Wright, who seldom gets plays hit her direction with Emily Chelius in the circle, made two crucial relay throws, setting up two runners thrown out at third base as top-seeded East Rockaway defeated No. 2 Oyster Bay, 1-0, to win the Nassau Class B championship at Hofstra. It’s East Rockaway’s fifth straight county title, Lores said.
“To make those big plays back-to-back basically, that really made me happy because nothing really has been coming to me,” Wright said. “So the fact that I was able to do that for us and make sure that we won made me very happy.”
East Rockaway (12-11) advances to play Center Moriches (18-5) in the Long Island Class B championship/Southeast Regional semifinal at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Eastport Athletic Complex.
The Rocks' lone runs came on Hunter Vertuccio’s home run in the third inning.
“I knew that our bats weren’t really as up to par as we expected,” Vertuccio said. “So I knew that I needed to do something to really lift the team up and give them that push.”
Chelius, who tossed a no-hitter in the Game 1 victory, threw her second shutout in as many days, scattering four hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts in the win.
“She’s the best pitcher in Nassau County,” Lores said. “I’m not saying that because of East Rockaway, I’m saying it because she is.”
Skylar McEvoy allowed one run on four hits with four walks and eight strikeouts in the complete game for Oyster Bay (11-11).
Mepham wins Nassau ‘A’ crown
More than 24 hours after the first pitch, the Mepham softball team can call itself a county champion.
After the game was suspended with two outs in the top of the seventh inning with Mepham leading Division 10-2 Thursday, the two teams continued Friday evening. Mepham recorded the final three outs in a 10-2 victory to win the Nassau Class A championship at Hofstra — the first county title in program history, coach Brenda Dolan said.
“We were waiting for a while,” said pitcher Kayla Bourquin, who tossed a perfect seventh inning. “We knew they weren’t going to just come off the bus and give us the win.”
Top-seeded Mepham (21-2) plays the Suffolk A champion in the Long Island Class A/Southeast Regional Final at 7 p.m. Friday at the Eastport Athletic Complex.
Dominique DeLutri had a three-run, pinch-hit triple in the sixth inning to give Mepham a 7-2 lead. Delaney Haley had two hits for No. 3 Division (15-10).
“To be honest, I didn’t realize it was bases loaded,” DeLutri said. “I just put myself in a situation where I knew I could hit and I knew I could get a hit for the team and help the team out.”