New Hyde Park teammates celebrate after a two-run home run...

New Hyde Park teammates celebrate after a two-run home run by pitcher Geena Fornataro extended their lead overMineola to 5-1 in the top of the third inning at Mineola on Saturday, May 9, 2015. Credit: James Escher


To most, it's a store that sells Slurpees. To others, it's a song by Beyonce. To those in New Hyde Park, it's the nickname of longtime teammates Geena Fornataro and Jessica Vadala.

"Our jersey numbers are 7 and 11," Fornataro said, "so we were like, let's go with that!"

On Saturday, 7-11 concluded their final regular season together after New Hyde Park defeated Mineola, 13-6, in a Conference A-I softball game.

"Whether we're pitching or playing third," Vadala said of the positions the two seniors share, "we balance each other out. We make a nice combo."

Let's begin with 7.

Fornataro, bound for Southern New Hampshire University, drilled a two-run homer over the fence in centerfield to increase the lead to 5-1 in the top of the third inning.

Vadala gets a majority of the starts in the circle, but yesterday Fornataro got the ball. She got the outs when she needed to, allowing five earned runs with seven strikeouts, including the 200th of her career.

The two have different pitching styles. Vadala is a location pitcher who prefers the rise and drop while Fornataro brings power and a nasty curveball.

Personality wise, there are differences, as well.

"On the bus ride now," New Hyde Park coach Jackie Rizzuti said, "Geena is probably going to have us all cracking up."

On the other hand, 11 is all business. And not just in the circle, where she moves the ball and hits her spots. She is already something of an entrepreneur, having recently taken first place in a Nassau County business competition for an energy efficient roofing company her team presented.

But it is her businesslike approach on the field that will help New Hyde Park (11-7 record) compete for a county title.

"We've been on this team for a long time," said Vadala, who went 1-for-4 with a double and a run. "We really want to go for it this season."

The duo is managed behind the plate by sophomore Ann Grimshaw, one of five players on the team -- along with Hannah Arkin, Jennifer Hickey, Sophia Jacoby, and Gabby Morales -- who were part of the 2010 New Hyde Park Little League team that won the Eastern Regional Championship.

"Their pitches move differently," said Grimshaw, who keeps the ball in front of her, has a strong arm, and knows each pitcher's preferences. "It's great because if one is not doing as good as she wants to, the other can always come in and help out."

Emily Skupp went 3-for-4 for Mineola (3-14), including a three-run homer in the fifth that cut the deficit to 7-4.

Angelina Fernandez, who went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and Grimshaw, who went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, hit RBI singles in the sixth to push the lead to 9-4.

With the win, the Gladiators clinched the fourth seed in the Nassau Class A playoffs, giving 7-11 one final playoff run.

"They're a dynamic duo," Rizzuti said. "They mean a lot to us. Hopefully this year we can end their careers with a nice win."

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