The East Meadow softball team doesn’t like to wait around.
With aggressive hitters throughout the lineup, the Jets often try to strike early in the count. And they did exactly that Friday.
Amy Mallah and Amanda Thompson each had first-pitch, two-run hits as part of East Meadow’s five-run third inning in its 10-0 victory over Commack in the Long Island Class AA championship/Southeast Regional Final Friday night at the Eastport Complex.
“We love being aggressive at the plate,” Thompson said. “It just shows how great we all are and how much work we put into this sport.”
East Meadow (19-4) advances to its third straight Class AA state semifinals, where it will play the winner of John Jay/Corning-Painted Post June 15 at 11:30 a.m. at the Moreau Recreational Park in South Glens Falls. With a semifinal victory, the Jets would play later that day for their second state title in three years. “Since we lost last year, this makes us want this 10 times more,” Julianna Sanzone said. “We’ve worked so much harder than we have in the past just to have this”
Mallah had a two-run single to drive in Kaitlyn Belfield (who was pinch-running following Rosanna Cuttone’s double) and Jenna Laird to give East Meadow a 3-0 lead. Thompson added a two-run double in the ensuing at-bat, driving in Sanzone and Mallah to take a 5-0 lead. Grace Pohalski added a single to drive in Thompson to extend East Meadow’s lead to 6-0, capping off the five-run third inning against Commack (20-8).
“These guys know how to win. They come through,” East Meadow coach Stew Fritz said. “Pohalski had a big two-out hit, Amanda Thompson had a big two-out hit and we were off to the races.”
Sanzone opened the scoring for the Jets with a home run over the leftfield fence to give East Meadow a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
“When I went up to the plate,” Sanzone said, “I knew I needed to get that inside pitch and rock it and once I saw it off the bat, I just knew it. Once you feel it off the bat, I just knew it.”
Alex Kelly, who added a two-run double to give East Meadow an 8-0 lead in the fifth inning, scattered three hits with one walk and five strikeouts over 6.1 shutout innings in the win. “She has been coming through all season, a phenomenal job,” Fritz said. “She grew up real fast”
Sanzone went 2-for-2 with a walk, two RBIs and three runs scored, Thompson went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs, Laird went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and Isabella Shepherd went 2-for-4 with a run scored for the Jets.
“We just never stop,” Sanzone said. “We never stop.”