Amber Fogarty is not partial to the long ball.
"I'm not a home run hitter," she said. "I'm just trying to hit the ball down and hard and get on base."
Fogarty is, however, a gifted shortstop. So it can be forgiven if the crowd at Bay Shore's Fifth Avenue School thought things got a little topsy-turvy Wednesday, when Fogarty committed a rare error in the top of the fourth to let No. 6 Deer Park tie the score. However, she then slammed a three-run home run in the bottom of the inning.
But right side up or upside down, the defending Class AA state champs showed they can play softball inside-out if they have to, as the No. 1 Marauders powered their way to an 8-3 win in Game 1 of the best-of-three Suffolk finals. "It's always good to pick myself up as well as my teammates," Fogarty said. "Even though I made errors, you have to shake it off and try to do better next time."
Fogarty, who also hit a two-out RBI single in the second inning to give Bay Shore (24-0) a 3-2 lead, let a two-out ball slip by her at second base in the fourth. As it trickled into the outfield, Sam Johrden scored to tie it up.
But after Killeen Martin walked and Giana Panariello reached on an infield hit to start the bottom of the inning, Fogarty turned on a pitch and slammed it into deep leftfield. The ball rolled all the way onto the JV field adjacent to where Bay Shore plays.
"When she turns on the ball, you see how strong she is," coach Jim McGowan said. "That line drive for the go-ahead run -- that was a seed. And the three-run homer was a bomb."
Now pitching with a cushion, Suffolk Large School's Pitcher and Player of the Year Taylor McGowan shut the door on a talented Deer Park (17-7) team that yielded just two 1-2-3 innings all afternoon.