Jackie Mahlmeister isn’t a typical leadoff hitter. Instead of setting the table, she cleans up.
The shortstop pulled the second pitch in the bottom of the first deep to leftfield for a home run, ripped an RBI single to rightfield in the second and then drove in two runs on a triple in a six-run fifth inning, leading host Plainedge to a 10-5 win over Island Trees Monday in Nassau ABC-I softball.
“I’m usually not a power hitter,” Mahlmeister said. “I usually get on and get driven in, but in times like this, it’s nice to be a power hitter and crush one every once in a while.”
A sophomore, Mahlmeister was integral in giving the team’s five seniors — Victoria Nowak, Cailin Cleary, Angelina Sawula and sisters Lauren and Lindsay Mistretta — a fitting sendoff on Senior Day.
Nowak pitched a complete game and launched a two-run homer to left-center in the sixth.
Plainedge (5-6) led 2-1 entering the fifth. But Deanna Obremski tripled with one out), and Hannah Vogt singled her in, tying the score for Island Trees (10-3).
But the Red Devils quickly regained the lead, sending 10 batters to the plate in the bottom half. Cleary worked a five-pitch walk at the start of the inning and Alexa Whitenack followed with a single to left. Claudia Porcaro then ripped a run-scoring double the opposite way down the rightfield line. Nowak had an RBI single and Bridget Kammerer drove in two on a two-out single to right. Mahlmeister’s two-run triple capped the inning.
“It was Senior Day, and we all just wanted to win it for everyone,” said Nowak, who added that the pitch she hit for her home run was the “perfect height for me.”
Island Trees didn’t go quietly, though, scoring twice in the seventh. Both Obremski and Megan Anderson went 3-for-4 for the Bulldogs.
After defeating one of the conference’s best teams, Plainedge participated in what coach Melissa Amitrano called a longstanding Senior Day tradition — the Senior Slide. Gallons of water were dumped around home plate, and all players took turns rounding the bases and sliding headfirst into the mud, emerging with their black uniforms covered in red clay.
Time for Mahlmeister to clean up again.