The opportunity to play varsity softball went well beyond the numbers and on-field competition for Akemi Poyer.
The Elmont senior is aware she doesn’t attend a school with one of the strongest programs in the county playing against the top competition, but she never let that get to her. The Molloy-commit plays competitive softball outside school, and she wanted to help her Elmont teammates become the best players they could be.
“I wanted to make sure everybody knew how we played and we weren’t just a school that didn’t know what we were doing,” Poyer said. “I wouldn’t mind sitting there for hours teaching them how to hit, throw, anything, because I would have fun, too.”
And Poyer, a five-year varsity shortstop at Elmont, ended her varsity tenure playing in the Exceptional Senior Long Island All-Star Softball Game Tuesday night at St. Joseph’s (LI). Poyer had an RBI groundout, driving in Samantha Fried (Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK), but Suffolk defeated Nassau, 4-2.
“This means a lot,” said Poyer, who started at second base. “My dad used to play when he was smaller, and he taught me how to play the game, so I feel like I have a lot to prove. Softball is more of a stress relief than a thing I feel I have to do.”
Poyer was one of 28 Nassau players selected for the game, with Suffolk having a 27-player roster.
Julia Golino (Mount Sinai) had a sacrifice fly to drive in Maddie Hujber (Center Moriches) to give Suffolk a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Suffolk added three runs in the sixth inning, with Chrissy Coan’s (Bay Shore) triple to drive in Samantha Butler (Sachem North) followed by Hailey Puglia’s (Sachem East) double to drive in Coan. Puglia later scored from second base on a wild pitch for the Suffolk's final run.
Jaden Thompson, a senior at Mattituck, had goals of playing in the second annual senior All-Star Game ever since the end of last year. And she was proud of achieving the opportunity to do just that.
“This definitely feels good,” said Thompson, who will be attending St. John’s University and has a tryout planned for the Division I team. “I’ve worked hard to play in this game, so this definitely helps and means a lot.”
Thompson had previous All-Star Game atmosphere experience after being selected to the Softball Factory All-American Team sponsored by Under Armour. She had a tryout and has played in two games with the team.
“It definitely felt really good because I knew me working as hard as I can was paying off,” Thompson said. “And it had been seen by others.”
Said Coan, "It was a lot of fun. Usually high school games are really nerve-wracking and you want everything to be perfect, but here you just get to come and have fun so it was great."
Taylor Eggert (Kings Park), Alexa Tenety (Babylon) and Butler each threw two shutout innings for Suffolk. Kristina Maggiacomo (Ward Melville) tossed a scoreless seventh inning and Golino pitched the final two innings for Suffolk to earn the save.
Emily Chelius (East Rockaway) allowed one unearned run in four innings and went 2-for-2 at the plate for Nassau. Chirstina Hassett (Farmingdale) pitched the final four innings. Lisa Fabig (MacArthur) had a sacrifice fly to drive in Dani Roselli (Division) in the eighth inning for Nassau’s first run.