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Kerri Shapiro, East Meadow softball: Positively brilliant results

East Meadow players celebrate their win over Liverpool

East Meadow players celebrate their win over Liverpool in the state Class AA softball championship game in Glens Falls on Saturday, June 14, 2014. Credit: Tim Roske

Kerri Shapiro is a firm believer in the law of attraction.

Rather than bore you with some convoluted meaning, allow Shapiro to define it in simpler terms.

"Positive thoughts will bring positive results," she said. "A negative mind-set can overwhelm you. If you believe you can get the results you want, then you will."

With the help of Shapiro's right arm, those positive thoughts paid off.

Example 1: When the East Meadow softball team found itself facing a rare deficit entering the seventh inning in Game 1 of the county championship series, Tianna LaRosa believed she could help them come back. She did, hitting a walk-off single.

"We always knew we were strong enough to come back and strong enough to win," she said. "But no matter what our record was, we never took anyone lightly. We just always stayed positive."

Example 2: When the Jets were in need of an insurance run in the Long Island championship, Claire Travis believed she could provide one. She did, launching a towering home run to center that proved to be the difference.

"We knew it was our last run and we all wanted it so bad," she said. "Losing in the championship game last year really hurt and we didn't want to feel that again. So we were confident that this was our year."

Example 3: When the Jets were one out away from a state title and the ball was soaring down the leftfield line with the tying run in scoring position, Victoria Bova believed she would make the catch. She did, laying out to make a diving basket grab to end the game.

The Jets were crowned state champions for the first time in program history. The team's five seniors -- Shapiro, LaRosa, Travis, Marisa San Antonio and Madison West -- can now move on knowing they helped put the first softball state championship banner on the wall at East Meadow High School.

"When you graduate, it's more about graduating from a team than a school," said West, a mainstay behind the plate for the past four seasons. "But we accomplished everything that we wanted to accomplish."

San Antonio -- the leadoff hitter and centerfielder who shared the championship experience with her younger sister Crista, the starting third baseman -- wrote "0-0" on her wrist before the state tournament to provide a constant reminder to the team.

"We had the mentality that the score was 0-0 the whole game," she said. "I told my teammates to always stay positive but not to get too excited. We didn't want to get overconfident until we made that final out."

Shortly after that final out, Shapiro -- the team's ace and No. 3 hitter who was named Newsday's Player of the Year -- collapsed near home plate and began to cry. "We finally won and all four years just replayed in the back of my head," Shapiro said. "All along I tried to be confident but not cocky, but I always believed we would win a state championship."

Those positive thoughts brought positive results.

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