GLENS FALLS, N.Y. - Marissa Rizzi and her Eastport-South Manor teammates played Mario Kart on the bus ride upstate . . . had a dance session in their hotel room . . . and stood on the field in the state semifinals.
The Class AA semifinals, that is.
Making the fact that they managed to do all of those activities even more impressive is that they did so despite being the smallest Class AA school, in terms of student enrollment, in Suffolk county.
"They got the Suffolk county title and the Long Island title, which is unprecedented for a school our size," ESM coach Laura Ward said. "Today we just fell one inning short."
The Sharks entered the seventh inning of the semifinals with a lead Saturday but couldn't hold on, falling to Liverpool, 6-4, at Moreau Park.
After singles by Jenna Kreiling and Kailah Konkel and a walk to Rizzi, Daniela Detore ran out a grounder for an infield single, allowing the go-ahead run to score for a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth.
With one out in the seventh, Liverpool's Jordan Wheeler and Gina Meyers each reached on infield singles -- both on close calls at first. Dominique Larose's slap bunt single brought home the tying run and Alicia Hansen then lined a two-run double down the rightfield line for a 6-4 lead.
"Losing is hard, but we had a great season," said Christina Rizzi, whose two-run single in the fourth gave the Sharks a 3-2 lead. "One game can't overshadow what we accomplished."
Eastport-South Manor (24-3) had won five straight do-or-die playoff games to get upstate, capturing the softball program's first county and Long Island championships at the AA level.
From there, they then went on to play Mario Kart, have dance sessions, play softball upstate and create memories that will last a lifetime.
"We showed that you can't just roll over us because we're a small school," Rizzi said. "We're already pumped up for next year. We want to win. We will win."