Isabella Damiano of Glen Cove knocks one to the outfield...

Isabella Damiano of Glen Cove knocks one to the outfield driving in two runs putting her team up by two during a Nassau softball game against Hicksville on Thursday, May 2, 2024 in Glen Cove. Credit: Dawn McCormick

It was the bottom of the fifth and the score was tied. The bases were loaded for Glen Cove and Isabella Damiano was at bat. Coach Kim Kessel yelled, “We need contact!” So what did Damiano do? She made contact.

Her two-run single gave Glen Cove the lead in an eventual 12-4 win over Hicksville on its home diamond.

“I stepped up with confidence,” Damiano said. “I got out of my head, and didn’t worry about what the score was. I just knew I had to get a hit.”

“When the pressure’s on, someone always steps up,” Kessel said. “Today it was Isabella’s turn.”

Another single from Sara Roditi gave Glen Cove a 6-3 lead after five innings.

It didn’t end there. A two-run single from Mia Lupinski and RBI singles from Natalie Weigand, Arden Jimenez, and Siena Scagliola quickly extended the lead to 12-3.

“We all feed off of each other,” sophomore pitcher Brooke Simmons said. “When things finally start working, we feed off of that, and it just multiplies.”

Kessel says that momentum has been their best friend.

“Momentum is everything for us,” Kessel said. “Being down by three, getting a couple of hits, and then being able to blow it wide open, it was a great feeling.”

The Big Red didn’t come out on fire, however. Maya Sullivan, Madeline Fucci, and Angelina Avila scored runs as Hicksville took a 3-0 lead after three innings.

“Sometimes we have trouble connecting at bat and it just takes a little bit for us to click,” Simmons said. “But everything always comes together in the end.”

Damiano, Lupinski and Roditi each finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Scagliola went 3-for-5 with three RBIs.

It wasn’t just big hits that got Glen Cove the comeback win. Simmons pitched all seven innings, allowing six hits, four runs and striking out 15.

“She’s been important for us since her eighth-grade season,” Kessel said. “We put a lot of pressure on her, but she’s always able to deal with it. She really had ice in her veins today.”

The Big Red advance to 10-4 overall, 9-3 in Nassau Conference III. If they win their next two matchups, they take home the conference title. Hicksville is 7-9, 4-9.

Simmons says this season is all about comebacks. They missed the playoffs by just one game last year, and they’re determined to make it this year.

“We’re ready to go as far as we can,” Simmons said. “We need to take it one game at a time and stay focused on our goal.”


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