With East Rockaway down two runs in the seventh inning and needing a big play, Emily Chelius delivered.
The sophomore hit a tying home run to center to keep the softball team’s hopes alive in the Class C Southeast Regional final at Pine Plains on Saturday.
But Pine Plains’ Tia Fumasoli had an answer, scoring the winning run in the bottom half on a wild pitch.
Despite the loss, Chelius remains a star to coach Joe Lores, whose team returns most of its core next season.
“She’s obviously the cornerstone we try to build around,” Lores said. “I told them after the game as we were sitting on the outfield grass: ‘Nobody thought we would be back here after losing our seniors last year.’ But we put in the time and everybody bought in.”