Brianna Cullen was on fire. The leftfielder drove in two big runs for Eastport-South Manor in Game 2 of the Suffolk Class AA softball finals Saturday.
Cullen's walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh drove in Daniela Detore to give top-seeded Eastport-South Manor a 4-3 win over seventh-seeded Sachem East and a 2-0 series victory. "It was the best feeling in the world," Cullen said. "As soon as the ball hit the ground, I just knew we won the game."
Cullen also hit a single in the bottom of the second to drive in Jackie Chester.
The Sharks got on the board again when Marissa Rizzi scored on an error in the bottom of the third to make it 2-0. Rizzi pitched a nine-hitter with six strikeouts and three walks.
Shortstop Kailah Konkel made a great running catch in shallow leftfield in the top of the fifth to help out Rizzi. "We wanted to win it on our own field," Konkel said. "We didn't want to have them come here and beat us on our own turf."
Coach Laura Ward said, "So many players contributed to a game where it came down to focus and concentration."
Sachem East (19-7) looked like it would go quietly before Kayla Henry-Caltabellotta drove in Marissa Wilson in the top of the sixth. Danielle Lucas' high chopper that found its way through infield drove in two more to put Sachem East up 3-2.
ESM tied it at 3 in the bottom of the sixth when Konkel drove in Jenna Kreiling.
Eastport-South Manor won its first county championship since 2010 when the Sharks won the Class A title.
"Brianna Cullen came up clutch," Ward said. "I think there was a certain confidence coming back to our home field."
Eastport-South Manor (24-2) will play Oceanside (19-6) in Game 1 of the Long Island championship Friday at 6 p.m. at St. Joseph's College.
It'll be a matchup of Oceanside's star twins, Claire and Megan McNamara, versus ESM's twins, the Rizzi sisters.
"They're not a pitcher and catcher like us," Marissa Rizzi said. "Me and Christina have some kind of mojo going on."