There’s only one ball on the field at all times for East Islip, and more often than not, it’s coming out of the hand of Courtney Greene.
The infielders don’t throw a ball around between innings. The outfielders stand in a line by second base with the shortstop and second baseman, with the first and third basemen standing by Greene’s side, just watching.
And once the umpire resumes play, the innings often look eerily similar.
Greene starred in the circle on Monday, striking out 10 in a complete game as East Islip beat host West Islip, 11-3, in a Suffolk V/VI crossover softball game. Greene allowed nine hits and two earned runs, and walked two. She even fielded five ground balls and caught a pop-up. Oh, and on offense, she added a pair of two-run home runs.
The only thing she didn’t do was drive the team bus.
“She’s becoming a really good hitter, not just a power hitter,” coach Jason McGowan said after his team improved to 8-0. “This kid can hit. It’s just that presence.”
The presence is becoming more of an aura for the Molloy commit. After Greene’s home run in the first inning, West Islip (1-6) tied the score at 2 in the bottom half with a two-run single by Amanda Arena to score Gianna Raimondi and Alyssa Adams. But Greene wasn’t fazed.
“I knew my offense was going to be able to handle it,” Greene said, “and we’d be able to score enough to beat them.”
Lauren Crawford opened the third inning with a home run, quietly saying, “Sometimes you just know,” about her long ball before Greene followed two batters later with a long home run to centerfield to score Jackie Carty and take a 5-2 lead. Greene may have been the last person at the field to realize how far she hit it.
“I actually wasn’t sure about the second one,” Greene said of her fifth home run of the season. “I didn’t think I hit it as solid as the first one but when I hit it, I was like, ‘All right, cool.’ ”
Crawford finished with three hits, three runs and two RBIs, driving in Allison Dell’Orto in the fourth. Crawford later scored on Carty’s double to take a 7-3 lead.
East Islip, last season’s Suffolk AA runner-up, capped off its strong offensive day with a four-run sixth inning, highlighted by a run from Katie Burk and RBIs from Greene, Allison Franzese and Ashley Benvengo. Greene retired nine of the final 12 batters.
“It really helps to have a great pitcher like her because we can always count on her,” Crawford said. “And she’s a really strong hitter, too.”