Amy Mallah wasn’t taking her eye off the play. Not even for a second.
With East Meadow trailing by one run in the top of the seventh inning with Mallah as the go-ahead run on first base and Julianna Sanzone on second, Amanda Thompson hit a line-drive single to the outfield, driving in Sanzone. But Mallah read the play and once she saw a throwing error on the relay, she broke for the plate.
“I just knew it was a tied score,” said Mallah, who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. “I saw the opportunity to go home and be ahead and I knew that I had to do it for my team. That’s what I had to do in order for us to win and I just gave it my all and it worked out.”
Mallah slid in safely to give East Meadow a one-run lead in its 7-5 victory over Oceanside.
That completed a two-game sweep of the Sailors as East Meadow won its third-straight Nassau Class AA softball championship late Saturday afternoon at Hofstra.
Top-seeded East Meadow entered the seventh inning trailing 5-4, but the Jets had the top of the order due up. And Thompson was ready when it was her time to make a game-altering play.
“It shows that we’re not going to stop,” Thompson said. “We’ll bend but won’t break. If we’re down, we’re always in the mindset of gamemode.”
With the victory, East Meadow (18-4) advances to play the winner of Sunday’s Commack-Longwood game in the Long Island Class AA championship/Southeast regional final Friday at 7 p.m. at the Eastport South Manor Athletic Complex.
Second-seeded Oceanside (14-11) scored five runs in the third inning, highlighted by Ashley Corr’s two-run single.
But the Jets scored one run in the fifth inning on Stephanie Christoforatos’ RBI single and three runs in the sixth inning.
“The kids kept fighting, what can I tell you,” coach Stew Fritz said. “They’re a special group. I really give them all the credit.”
Isabella Shepherd added an RBI single in the seventh inning for East Meadow’s final run.
“I knew I needed to get another run in, keep the lead going,” Shepherd said. “Keep us up and keep going.”
And even when East Meadow trailed early, the Jets never lost confidence they’d come back — something Fritz credits to “championship pedigree.”
“I said to them in the circle, I knew we were going to come back,” Mallah said. “I said ‘I have confidence in us, I know we’ll do it’ and that’s exactly that we did.”