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Leftovers: Finals Edition

Whole lotta leftovers from the last two days. Lots of quotes and miscellaneous items. Read up!

Monday Stuff…

Carle Place catcher Leanne Iannucci
-- On beating Oyster Bay to go up 1-0 in the three-game series: “It was good. We all played well, and it was good to get it going offensively and get some hits.”
-- On her home run that made it 3-0: “I saw the pitch so well. I really don’t know, I’m speechless. I saw it right there and I took it.
-- On catching Ashley Cole, who pitched a four-hitter with 12 strikeouts: She’s great to catch. I’ve been catching her for so long. I don’t even remember when we started.” (Leanne’s dad told me the BFFs have been at it since they were 6.)

Ashley Cole, who, as her coach said, has gotten better at this interview stuff. For the second straight game she had Newsday and MSG Varsity bugging her.
-- On the win: “It was a little bit nerve-wracking, but it was good. It takes a lot of pressure off because we have a cushion going into the second game.”
-- On what pitches were on: “My curve was pretty good. I didn’t use my changeup that much. I didn’t feel like I needed.”

Lindsay Trifon got the game-winning hit in Floral Park’s 1-0, 15-inning win over Plainedge on Monday in Game 1 of the Class A finals.
-- What’d you see on the hit? “I saw nothing. It was like a blur. I was running.”

That answer led me to the next question. During the game, I noticed she has an Ichiro-like running swing. She bats lefty and waves at the ball as she takes a step toward first. She does not pattern her swing after the Mariners star, though. In fact, she doesn’t know much about him.

“I don’t know where it came from,” the senior said. “I got to varsity and they taught me how to slap and I just run and hit.”

Lindsay Epstein scored the winning run on Trifon’s hit.
-- On scoring: “I was thinking, ‘Just be safe at home.’ Because I was thrown out, we’d have had to keep playing.”
-- On the game lasting that long: “Everyone was getting pretty tired. At the end, people were just trying to pull through. Lindsay got a really clutch hit and we’re all thankful.”
-- How does the team, sapped of energy, maintain its focus? “I think just wanting to win keeps us in it. It’s the county championships, so that draws it out of you.”

Tuesday Stuff…

Oyster Bay evened the Class B championship series with Carle Place with a 2-1 win on Tuesday. Joshlyn Grant ended it with a walkoff homer in the seventh.

“That was really awesome. I couldn’t have hit it in a better place.” She lined a pitch to right that got over the fielder’s head and hooked deep into the corner, allowing her to round the bases.

Oyster Bay had led 1-0 in the top of the inning but Carle Place rallied to tie it. “They’re a really good team. We’re trying to go all the way and in that at-bat, it was on my shoulders so I just had to get the winning hit.”

Oyster Bay pitcher Kerri Apicella: “The entire game I was nervous because we were only up by one run. But that last inning when they scored, there was a knot in my stomach. But then I knew we had 2, 3 and 4 up (in the lineup), so I was confident we could do it.”

Plainedge won Game 2 of the Class A finals, 1-0, to tie the series. But the big issue was how the pitchers felt, having pitched less than 24 hours after going 15 innings.

Samantha Giovaniello (Floral Park)
“It feels fine. It was good all game. Last night after I iced it, it felt OK.”

She’d planned on getting a lot of sleep after the never-ending  game, but that had to wait a while.

“I didn’t get to sleep until about 11:00. I had a paper to write.”

Michelle Daubman (Plainedge)
“It feels great, actually. I didn’t do any of my homework until I got home around 8ish, so I got to bed around the same time. I put some heat on it.”
-- On what pitches worked in the shutout: “I threw a lot of rises and drops. Those were pretty good. I threw the occasional screw and that worked well. My curveball broke, but it didn’t have as much kick as it usually does.”
-- On Stephanie McKenna’s RBI triple giving them a first-inning lead: “That was completely necessary. Even that slight cushion just made it that much easier.”

East Meadow beat MacArthur, 5-2, to complete the sweep of the Class AA finals.

[Apology to Rachel Sidney. In today’s article, I wrote that Danielle Cutuli’s triple drove in Hillary Hoffman to put the Jets up, 3-2, in the ninth. It was actually Sidney who scored that run. I actually had it right in my notebook, but when I was typing the story, the #5 looked like #8 on the quick glance. That’s my bad and I should’ve been more careful.]

MacArthur coach Bob Ferehnbach
On the loss: “They played great. They’re a very good team and they got the hits at the end. We had some chances but we didn’t deliver with runners on base. In that last inning, they hit it where we weren’t.”
-- On Samantha Miller’s diving catch in center and subsequent throw to second for a double play to end the game: “The kid made a great play. All series she’s been making nice plays. She gets a great jump on the ball. That play is hard for the runner. You don’t know if it’s gonna fall and you don’t want to be thrown out on a force. But it was a helluva play.”
-- On Kristen Brown’s performance:  “After a rough couple first innings, she settled down and did well and the defense started clamping down and making some plays. It’s just unfortunate we couldn’t deliver earlier.”

Kristen Brown
On the loss: “It’s really tough. East Meadow is a great team… We just went out there and gave it our all.”
Optimism about next season: “I feel a lot of confidence,” said the sophomore. “Mostly all our girls are coming back and we’re going to have a really strong team next year.”

Sam Miller
-- On winning the county championship: “It feels so amazing. I’ve always wanted to get to this point. It feels so good.”

[It should be noted that Miller threw a Now & Later candy in my direction while I was interviewing her coach. It was meant for the coach, but she missed. Good thing for East Meadow she has better aim with a softball than she does with candy. I’m not sure if it hit me, but judging by her reaction, it probably did. She then offered me one. I couldn’t put that in the article, as I’d threatened, but it’s on the blog!]

Danielle Cutuli
-- One the triple that scored RACHEL SIDNEY: “I just slammed it. It was a low, outside pitch and I went with it, right into the gap… We knew we still had to play defense and pitch, but we were confident we’d make it stand and get the win. We were pumped.”

Brittany Anghel
-- On winning a championship in her first year after transferring from St. Dominic, which reached the CHSAA final: “It just feels so great to take one home. We came so close last year to winning the Catholic School championship. I’m glad we got this.”
On winning a championship in general: “We showed a lot of composure. We only had one loss on the season and we came and showed everyone we can do it.”
-- On her relationship with pitcher Lindsay McKillop: “We’re really close. We grew up together. People call us twins. We kind of look alike.” [Note: They do.]
-- On the celebration: “I have soccer practice in a little while (this was around 6:40). I play for Albertson Fury. I’m going to college for soccer, so I do this on the side. I’ll have to hold off on the celebration… We’re cutting school tomorrow, all of us. It’s a big cut day.”

Well, teachers don’t read the softball blog. I don’t think. And if they do, by the time they see this, they’ll have already noticed that most everyone who plays for the softball team was absent and known something was up.

(Disclaimer: Newsday does not at all promote the skipping of classes, even in late May. We believe that perfect attendance is important, as is avoiding the temptation of showing up to school with the “June look.” I’m old, but I know about that.  Light clothes, no knapsack (it was called a knapsack in my day) and just a pen in your pocket in case that one teacher decides to make you take notes or drops a quiz in the last couple weeks before summer break. You keep carrying those book bags and going to class, kids. June counts, too.)

Lindsay McKillop
-- On her jumping up and down after the final out: “I couldn’t contain it… You kind of stop thinking, actually. I threw up the mitt and the mask. The mask flew in the air.”
-- On Sam Miller’s diving catch: “I knew she had it. Of course.”
-- On her pitching: “[MacArthur] made more contact on my pitches [than most opponents do], but I have my defense behind me. That keeps me confident even when I’m not at my best.”
-- On giving up a homer to Kristen Brown in the fourth inning: “I left her a fat pitch and she ripped it. I can’t take that back. She did a good job and hit it.”
-- On her hitting (she had two RBIs): “Facing [Kristen] yesterday and seeing her again helped.”
-- On Anghel’s revelation of the plan to cut: “I don’t know anything about that. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Coach Cindy McCarthy
-- On Miller’s catch: “She’s come up big this series. [Monday] she had two fantastic catches. It’s how she’s been playing all season.”
-- On McKillop: “That’s Lindsay. She digs deep. This field is tough; anything in the gap is a shot. But Lindsay’s a senior and she’s been here before. She’s led us this whole season.”
-- On Cutuli’s triple: “That’s this team. If one person doesn’t do it, someone else does. That’s really the sign of a great team. The other day against Farmingdale, our 7-8-9 [batters] score the winning run. We pick each other up and that’s the way it’s been all season… I was excited for Danielle.”

OT: Tuesday was nine years to the day that McCarthy won a county championship as a player with Hicksville.

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