Unfinished business. That has been the motto for the East Islip softball team all season after losing in last year’s Suffolk Class AA final.
Most of the players wear the slogan on the back of their shoes. Heck, it’s even been on the bottom of the Redmen’s lineup card that they give to home-plate umpires and opposing teams all season.
Though it was far from easy, East Islip finally accomplished its goal thanks, in part, to its two seniors. Jackie Carty and winning pitcher Courtney Greene both homered and knocked in a combined seven runs as host and top-seeded East Islip defeated a tough No. 3 Deer Park, 16-7, Saturday in the Suffolk Class AA final.
East Islip (23-1), which had 19 hits, faces Nassau AA champ East Meadow (19-2) at 6:30 p.m. Friday at St. Joseph’s (LI) for the right to head to the state semifinals in South Glens Falls on June 10.
“Last year’s loss in the counties was more motivation to get back here,” said Greene, who was 4-for-4, with four RBIs and and one run. “I knew that my team was going to be able to make it back [to the county final]. But I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game.”
East Islip took a 4-0 lead in the third after a two-run home run to leftfield by Carty, who knocked in three of the first four runs.
But Deer Park (22-4), which went 17-2 during the regular season en route to the League V crown, battled back. The Falcons took advantage of three Redmen errors in the fourth and scored six runs — all with two outs — and sent 11 batters to the plate to take a 6-4 lead. Tori Fox highlighted the barrage with a two-run single.
“I had a lot of confidence,” Greene said, “that my offense can score a bunch of runs.”
Greene was correct, and she played a large role in the scoring part, too. The Molloy commit smashed a three-run homer in the fifth that helped East Islip retake the lead, 7-6. The Redmen added four more runs in the inning, including a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double by Allison Dell’Orto (3-for-5) and were ahead, 11-6.
“[Greene’s] homer was clutch. It changed the dynamic of the game,” said Carty, who was 3-for-4 with four runs and three RBIs. “Once you knew that [ball] was out, the momentum was back to us.”
East Islip — which outscored its playoff foes 58-9 — won its first Suffolk title since 2012, which was Jason McGowan’s first season as East Islip coach.
“These girls wanted it bad,” McGowan said. “Once we had the opportunity to get back here, we said, ‘We’re not leaving this field without being champions.’ ”