MacArthur's Kristen Brown watches her fly ball in the fifth...

MacArthur's Kristen Brown watches her fly ball in the fifth inning. Earlier in the game, Brown hit an inside-the-park home run. (May 9, 2011) Credit: Kathy Kmonicek

League play is now in full swing, it’s time to get this blog up and running.  We’ll start things off with the top 10 teams in Nassau based on games played through April 8.  As always, keep in mind this is the opinion of one man and rankings will fluctuate drastically from week to week, especially early in the season.  Friendly debate is always welcome via the comment section or e-mail.  Stay tuned for Suffolk and CHSAA rankings, Players of the Week and all that fun stuff later in the week.  Without further ado, I give you the top ten softball teams in Nassau...

1. MacArthur (6-1, 3-0)

Kristen Brown (pictured) highlighted the week with a three homer game and a career-high eight RBIs in a 12-4 win over defending Class B Long Island Champion Carle Place.  Brown now has five home runs on the season, the most on Long Island.  Briana Lombardo tossed a three-hit shutout in a 3-0 win over Syosset and Ashley Massoni threw a three-hitter of her own and struck out 11 in a 15-0 rout of Division.

2. Island Trees (6-0, 3-0)

Megan Acton doubled and tripled and drove in four runs in a 13-2 win over Bethpage as Island Trees remained unbeaten in Class A-Conference I.  Alannah Basile improved to 5-0, which includes a one-hitter against Plainedge, a two-hitter against Floral Park and a non-league win over MacArthur.

3. East Meadow (2-1, 3-3)

Don’t overanalyze the early season losses.  East Meadow played a tough non-league schedule with losses to Island Trees and Plainedge and lost a 10-8 slugfest to MacArthur.  They’ve now won three straight games, capped by a 2-0 win over Holy Trinity in which Madison West and Dina LaRosa each drove in a run. West also homered and hit two doubles in a 9-0 win over Oceanside as Kerri Shapiro tossed a three-hit shutout.

4. Massapequa (5-2, 2-1)

Nice start to the season for Kim Giurlando, Danielle Gariglio, Rachel Sieber and Massapequa despite not having all-state Alyssa Zinkiewicz at first.  Renee Vaiano struck out 11 and allowed two hits and Liz Doherty went 2-for-3 with two RBIs in a 4-0 win over Carey.   

5. Clarke (5-0, 2-0)

There was another session at Cornell University last week as eighth-grade pitcher allowed two hits and one run while striking out 14 in a 4-3 win over Seaford.  Cornell improved to 3-0, combining to allow just three hits with 41 strikeouts.  Alyssa Colletti and Danielle Ferrara each went 2-for-3 with a homerun in the win.  

6. Floral Park (5-2, 2-1)

With players like Christine Hand, Angelica Titor, Kristina Santoro and Sam Perri, Floral Park has a young but talented team behind Sam Giovanniello this season.  If that talent develops Floral Park could be headed back to the county championship game after a one year absence.  Giovanniello, who has already tossed two no-hitters this season, allowed two hits and struck out 12 in a 3-1 win over New Hyde Park

7. Carle Place (3-2, 2-0)

Ashley Cole, Leanne Iannucci and the defending Class B Long Island champions are primed for a run at a state title, but the road there won’t be easy.  In this season’s ability based alignments, Carle Place will play Class A schools and face tougher competition.  The double-digit wins of last season won’t come as often but they will be battle-tested come playoff time.  Cole struck out 18 in a 6-2 win over North Shore as Amanda Machado’s bunt single in the tenth inning drove in the go-ahead run.      

8. Long Beach (5-0, 2-0)

Long Beach has some talented pieces in pitcher Ashley Martin, shortstop Kelsey McLaughlin and Annie Winerip. Martin allowed one run and struck out eight in a 4-2 win over Mepham and Brianna Rivera hit a three-run homer in a 4-3 win over Seaford as Long Beach kept its perfect record alive.

9. Plainedge (4-1, 1-1)

It was a quiet week for Plainedge, which entered the season as the top-ranked team in Nassau Class A.  Plainedge started the season swinging the bats well and had three impressive wins over Class AA-Conference I opponents.  The county runner-up last season will be in the running again behind pitcher Kim Nowak, catcher Taylor Curran, third baseman Jackie Olseksak, shortstop Kate Finnen and first baseman Dolores Diemicke.

10. Farmingdale (5-2, 4-0)

The defending Long Island champions have a different identity this season.  Last year they were built on pitching, this year on slugging.  They will have to outslug teams to win and that’s exactly what they’ve been doing in the early going.  Kerri Ossenfort and Lauren Hill each hit RBI-triples to erase a 6-2 seventh-inning deficit and lead Farmingdale to a dramatic 7-6 win over Calhoun.  Although, Michelle Duddy showed that the Dalers can still put zeros on the board as she tossed a five-inning no-hitter in a 12-0 win over Freeport.  

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