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Bluethgen in control as Commack tops East Islip in softball playoffs

Commack's Alyssa Bluethgen delivers a pitch against East

Commack's Alyssa Bluethgen delivers a pitch against East Islip in a Suffolk Class AA quarterfinal softball game on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Alyssa Bluethgen, a pitcher on the softball team, looks like she’d be a center on the basketball team.

At 6-1, she says every time she wears a Commack shirt, people ask if she plays for the Cougars’ basketball team, which has won two straight Long Island championships.

“I played junior varsity in ninth grade,” she said. “I didn’t really like it. I wasn’t very good.”

She may miss jump shots, but she does not miss the strike zone. Bluethgen, with pinpoint control, tossed a gem Wednesday to lift No. 2 Commack to an 8-1 win over No. 7 East Islip in the double-elimination Suffolk Class AA softball playoffs.

“We were looking at the chart, she threw 19 balls the whole game and 15 were balls we called for,” Commack coach Harold Cooley said Wednesday. “That means she only threw four balls today. That’s a dominant day for the pitcher.”

Bluethgen, who got hitters to chase her curveball, allowed five hits, walked one, and struck out five in a complete game.

“I was getting ahead with first pitch strikes,” she said. “Going from there made me more confident.”

Nicole Principe, who went 2-for-3, hit a go-ahead RBI single during a three-run fourth as Commack took a 4-1 advantage.

Kaysi Gruner went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, including a two-run home run in the sixth for an 8-1 lead, helping Commack (18-4) advance to play West Islip on Friday.

“You get into the meat of the order and we are just bomb after bomb after bomb,” Gruner said. “It’s contagious.”

After Jenny Murphy gave East Islip (15-7) a 1-0 lead in the second with an RBI single, Commack’s Alexa Corben drove an outside pitch to the gap in right-center and slid home safely for her first home run of the season.

“I really wanted to help get the team going,” Corbin said. “Which I think it did.”

The team kept hitting, and Bluethgen kept hitting her spots.

“This is a huge win for us,” Bluethgen said. “We worked really hard to get here. We never took a day off. I feel like we have a good chance.”

And she’s not about to miss it.

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