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Jenna Turato, Carey off to a great start in Nassau Class A playoffs

Carey pitcher Jenna Turato throws against Plainedge on

Carey pitcher Jenna Turato throws against Plainedge on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. Credit: Richard T. Slattery

Jenna Turato is tired of being good.

Flash back to a few months ago when the Carey softball team held its first meeting of the season. The Seahawks, always in the top ability-based conference and always in the postseason, were told by the coaching staff that they were good. But they were then asked if they want to be great.

Thus, the team's motto was born: "Good to Great."

"By winning counties," Turato said, "I think we will consider ourselves great."

They're now one step closer to greatness.

Top-seeded and host Carey beat Plainedge, 5-0, Tuesday in Game 1 of the best-of-three Nassau Class A semifinals.

Turato, who commanded the strike zone and worked the outside of the plate, tossed a two-hit shutout, allowed one walk and struck out five. Amanda Ulzheimer, who combines with Brianna Pinto to form a speedy and formidable duo atop the lineup, went 4-for-4 with an RBI.

"We were good today but there is always room for improvement to become great," Ulzheimer said. "We're so determined to keep moving forward."

Sam Romanello opened the scoring in the first inning with a two-run single that scored Pinto and Ulzheimer and gave Carey (18-2) a 2-0 lead. Ulzheimer added an RBI single in the second inning and Pinto scored on a wild throw to third during a stolen-base attempt in the fourth inning to open a 4-0 lead.

Rebecca Vilchez went 2-for-3 with an RBI single in the sixth that capped the scoring.

"We've been playing together since we were younger," Romanello said. "We're getting to great. We're not there yet, but we're getting there."

Nicole Francisco struck out six for fourth-seeded Plainedge (14-8).

Kate Finnen broke up Turato's perfect game in the fourth with a single to center that just eluded the glove of a sliding Dominique Morales. Taylor Curran singled in the seventh for the Red Devils' only other hit.

"We have to be ready to jump on the first pitch because she throws a lot of first-pitch strikes," Finnen said. "We need to forget about this one and learn from our mistakes. We're going to keep fighting."

Game 2 is Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at Schwarting Elementary School in Massapequa.

After a win that put Carey on the cusp of its first county championship series since 2006, Turato was asked what she thought of her team's performance. "I feel like we did pretty well today," Turato said. "We feel good."

But they want to feel great.

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