Printed on the back of the Carle Place softball t-shirts is a slogan that reads: “Play every game like it’s the seventh inning in June.”
The seventh inning in June finally came yesterday, and Ashley Cole found herself three outs away from a no-hitter in the Class B Long Island Championship game against Babylon.
Cole struck out the side in the seventh to secure her first no-hitter of the season and give Carle Place a 2-0 win over Babylon to win the Long Island championship.
Cole, who struck out 11, was four outs away from a perfect game until she hit Babylon’s Miranda Richards with a pitch, the only baserunner she would allow.
She took the ball again just over an hour later in the regional finals against Rhinebeck and pitched well, allowing five hits and three runs, two earned, with 11 strikeouts and no walks. But Rhinebeck’s Megan Michie, a two-time New York State Class C Player of the Year, was nearly unhittable, allowing two hits and striking out 14.
Cole wrapped up a brilliant season in which she went 16-3 and struck out 218 batter while walking just four to earn spot on Newsday’s All-Long Island.
Cole Reaction after no-hitter in 2-0 win over Babylon:
After no-hitter: “It feels really good. I want to win the second game and go to states. That would be such a great experience.”
On the no-hitter: “I wasn’t thinking about it. I was mostly concerned with a new catcher, maybe a little nervous. But Topel stepped up.”
On Iannucci’s injury: That’s really hard, she must be devastated. I even saw her finger, it was in a different spot. It was scary.”
On the HBP that cost her a perfect game: “It’s so annoying. But it’s OK. It happens.”
On winning LIC for the third time: “It feels the best this time. It’s such a big accomplishment for our team. I think we can go all the way.”
On where this win ranks in her career: “Probably right at the top.
Carle Place coach Chris Ceruti on Cole’s performance: “Outstanding. She knows how to move the ball very well. She knows how to work the corners, a lot of movement on her ball. You see how difficult it is if you face her for the first time."
Carle Place Kaitlyn Davis on Cole: “Ashley did a great job like she has been doing all season. It took a lot of pressure off the defense and made things a lot easier on us.”
Cole after 3-2 loss in Regional Finals:
On loss: “I thought we were going to win, I thought we could have done it so it’s frustrating. No one was hitting, our bats were flat. Even myself, I wasn’t hitting well.”
On Iannucci playing injured: “It shows that she’s a phenomenal player. It takes a lot of heart to come back into a game once you get hurt. I didn’t expect her to come back.”
On next season: “I think next year we can definitely do it. We are losing Dana, who is a really good player. But we are basically staying the same so we will be almost identical.
On doubleheader: “I wish it was on two different days, it’s annoying. I was definitely faster the first game, I was a little tired.”
On the season: “We wanted to win. But we were undefeated and won a Long Island championship. You can’t ask for much more.”