Kelsey Carr is too young to have her license, but the 13-year-old was in the driver’s seat Thursday in the Suffolk Class A softball championship.
The eighth-grader at Mount Sinai middle school threw a gem and then took a celebratory whipped cream pie to the face from her teammates after leading the top-seeded Mustangs over No. 3 Islip, 7-2.
Carr showed poise beyond her years, pitching a complete game and striking out 13 while allowing only one earned run.
She cruised through five innings, allowing only three baserunners before Islip loaded the bases and scored twice with one out in the sixth on consecutive RBI singles by Taylor Larson and Maddie Feddersen.
She struck out the next two batters, ending the threat.
“You have to remember that she’s 13, so she might fall apart,” catcher Hailey LaGuidice said. “But the best thing to do when she falls apart is just to go out, call time and maybe tell a joke or something to make her smile.”
That’s what LaGuidice did, who said she called time before the two consecutive strikeouts to tell Carr a joke about pizza. Whatever it was, it worked.
“You can trust her a lot,” Carr said of LaGuidice. “I feel totally confident with her behind the plate.”
LaGuidice helped Carr’s comfort level at the plate as well, going 1-for-1 with three RBIs, two on a single to centerfield in the bottom of the fifth that made the score 6-0. She also had a sacrifice fly to center in the second.
An early-season elbow injury had sidelined LaGuidice, according to coach Tom Tilton, but she has come back strong.
“She’s come up with big hit after big hit,” Tilton said. “Now that she’s done playing catch-up, she’s been fine.”
Carr, the team’s No. 2 pitcher, certainly appreciated the support in what she said was the biggest game she’s ever pitched. She helped herself at the plate, too, going 2-for-4 with a two-run double in the third inning.
Mt. Sinai (22-1) will play Nassau Class A champion Clarke next Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Hofstra in the Long Island Championship. Although Tilton said he’s not sure if Carr will get the ball, LaGuidice said the Mustangs trust the eighth-grader if she’s in the circle.
“We know that, as young as she is, she’ll always have our backs,” she said. “She always goes 100 percent and beyond.”