Sachem East pitcher Olivia DeRose, middle, is mobbed by some...

Sachem East pitcher Olivia DeRose, middle, is mobbed by some teammates after Suffolk Class AAA softball final. She tossed a four-hitter on Saturday, May 25, 2024. Credit: George A Faella

The pressure was on all game, but that’s how Olivia DeRose likes it.

When North Babylon started the top of the seventh inning with back-to-back singles, DeRose felt right at home.

The senior faced runners on second and third with one out after a sacrifice bunt. She struck out the next batter she faced on three pitches before fielding a groundball and firing to first base for the final out of No. 2 Sachem East’s 1-0 win over No. 3 North Babylon in the Suffolk Class AAA softball championship game Saturday at Martha Avenue Recreational Park in Bellport.

“It was a really intense game with a lot of pressure, but our coach always says pressure is a privilege,” DeRose said. “It’s nice and relaxed now that we won.”

After collecting its first county title in program history, Sachem East (19-4) will return to Martha Avenue to face either Massapequa or Oceanside in the Long Island championship game at 5 p.m. on Friday.

DeRose allowed four hits and totaled eight strikeouts, including her 500th career strikeout, in the shutout.

“I have total confidence in Olivia’s demeanor in the circle,” Sachem East coach Amanda Stallone said. “It doesn’t compare to anybody else. She doesn’t get rattled or nervous. She knows what she has to do and she throws what she knows she can. There’s never any doubt that she’ll pull it off.”

Cameron Buckstein hit a two-out single in the bottom of the second inning and advanced to second on a passed ball. In a 1-and-2 count, Gianna Prisco lined a single to center to drive in Buckstein for the only run of the game.

Prisco and Buckstein are two of four freshmen in Sachem East’s starting lineup, which also has eighth-grader Madison Fisher.

“In the beginning of the year at winter workouts, I realized we had a lot of young players and I thought we were going to struggle,” DeRose said. “But they’ve worked really hard to help us get to this point.”

DeRose, Sloane Bassett and Xiomara Llerena each added a hit.

Megan Wegel hit a double and walked twice for North Babylon, which finished 19-4. Nina Vandernoth struck out seven and held Sachem East to one run on five hits.

“She is incredible,” Stallone said of Vandernoth, an eighth-grader. “We barely got any hits off her, but when we did, it was in big spots. We knew we would have to fight for every run against her.”

With DeRose in the circle, one run is enough.

“She’s just amazing,” Prisco said of DeRose. “I’m so happy I’ve had the chance to be on her team before she graduates. And we’re not done yet.”


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