They were down, but not out.
Less than 24 hours after dropping a heartbreaking 12-inning loss to Islip, the No. 2 East Islip softball team responded with a 12-8 victory over No. 8 Bayport-Blue Point on Saturday morning, breaking out the bats and keeping their season alive.
“They’re a tough team,” coach Jason McGowan said. “[The loss] took a lot out of us and they’re young, but they’re still up and good. We’re used to these games and to see them respond is beautiful.”
Bayport-Blue Point set East Islip (17-5) back on its heels immediately, scoring a run in the first inning, but McGowan said the team never wavered. Instead, they locked in and answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame.
That was just the start.
East Islip scored seven runs in the bottom of the second, taking a 9-1 lead and grabbing some much-needed confidence at the plate.
“We just exploded,” McGowan said. “It was one right after another.”
Allison Dell’Orto, who got the start in the circle for East Islip, kept Bayport-Blue Point from finding a rhythm, tossing four innings before Kyra Kreuscher took over. That was when the Phantoms (15-7) went to work.
Bayport-Blue Point scored four in the top of the fifth, making it a 9-8 game, but, McGowan said East Islip still wasn’t rattled. The squad responded, again, with three runs in the bottom of the frame, highlighted by Kreuscher’s, two-out, two-run double up the leftfield line.
“To Kyra’s credit, she got up in a huge situation,” McGowan said. “In that same inning where she got hit pretty good, she came up with a clutch double.”
Dell’Orto returned to the circle for the final two innings, wrapping up the victory for East Islip, which will host No. 4 Mount Sinai in another elimination game Wednesday at 4 pm.
It’s been a dramatic few days for East Islip and McGowan said he’s confident the team will continue to rally, looking to work their way back to a county title.
“We’ve been hitting the ball well and we’re riding the wave,” McGowan said. “We’ve spent all season getting ready for this.”