The Mepham players gathered on the mound and posed for photos with their winning smiles and well-earned parting gift — Class A softball’s Long Island Championship plaque.
It was a sister act that was at the forefront Saturday of helping these Nassau-champion Pirates claim an LIC crown for the first time in program history.
Senior shortstop Dominique DeLutri launched a homer and freshman righthander Giselle DeLutri fired four hitless innings of relief to finish off a combined one-hitter in Mepham’s 1-0 win over Suffolk champ Miller Place at Moriches Athletic Complex.
"It was a nice culminating freshman-to-senior sister relationship," coach Brenda Dolan said. "It’s going to be something they remember forever."
The Pirates (17-4) had won their second straight Nassau championship, with the other coming in 2019. They lost in the LIC that year. This time, they found the ending they wanted.
"It means everything because we’ve all been playing with each other since we were eight [years old], cheering each other on, always backing each other up," Dominique DeLutri said. "It just feels absolutely amazing to win another title with these girls."
She stepped up to open the top of the sixth against Panthers starter Jessica Iavarone. The next thing the two knew, the ball was soaring over the fence in centerfield and Dominique was being mobbed at the plate.
"Oh my God, it feels absolutely amazing," she said. "I don’t think I’ve ever had a feeling that great before."
Giselle DeLutri came on in the fourth inning and later said she was feeling "a lot of pressure. But I knew that I had my team behind me 100%."
Then a throwing error gave Miller Place a runner at third with one out in the fifth, but she struck out the next two — she fanned seven overall — and escaped the jam.
"Oh my goodness, I literally screamed so loud," she said. "I was so proud of myself."
Dolan likes to use multiple pitchers, so junior righthander Gia Miccio worked the first three. Iavarone singled with one out in the first for the Panthers’ lone hit.
"Every single kid on this team contributed in the postseason," Dolan said.
Miller Place (16-2) also made history in the postseason, winning the program’s first Suffolk title.
"I’m extremely proud of these girls," first-year coach Matt Timmons said. "Getting over the hump of getting that first county championship was very emotional."