Oyster Bay centerfielder Kristen Poppe let it fly, and the moment the ball left her hand, she had a feeling something special was about to happen.

North Shore's Vicki Danis lined a single into center with one out, a runner on second and her team trailing by two in the top of the sixth. Poppe charged the ball and let loose a strike that reached catcher Danielle Agostinello on the fly. Agostinello tagged out Sue Magnuson, and the host Baymen went on to win the season-opener, 5-3, in Wednesday non-league softball.

Poppe went 0-for-2 and had the misfortune of being hit in the face mask with a pitch. But "the throw" is what this early-season game will be remembered for.

"I've done it in practice before, and I saw my catcher calling home," Poppe said. "I just thought I should go for it because I had nothing to lose."

The Baymen received a steady performance on the mound from Olivia Agostinello, who allowed three runs and struck out four in five innings to earn the win. In the fourth, after allowing an RBI triple to Lexi Marshall, she induced three consecutive groundouts to strand the potential tying run at third.

"I just put everything out of my mind, settled down and went right back to work," she said.

Oyster Bay extended its lead with three runs in the bottom of the fourth, batting around against Marshall (13 strikeouts in six innings) while taking advantage of two North Shore errors.

After surrendering two runs in the fifth, Agostinello exited in favor of Dana Galgano, who threw two scoreless innings of relief. Galgano, of course, was helped out by Poppe's game-changing throw.

"I think it was really important because if that runner had been safe, I feel like we might have gotten dejected," Poppe said. "It was crucial that the tying run not be on base."

Poppe's teammates were not surprised she made the throw that might have saved the day.

"You can always count on Kristen to do that," Olivia Agostinello said. "She's an amazing centerfielder. You expect that from her."


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