Between wind chills and rain outs, the early part of a softball season on Long Island can be a challenge. But that doesn't mean we haven't already learned about some teams that look to be playing important games when the weather warms up.
Here are 10 telling early season softball results, listed by date, along with a top 10 ranking.
1. Kellenberg 14, East Meadow 6 on March 25
In each team’s second game of the season, and a matchup between the CHSAA runners-up and the two-time defending Long Island Class AA champions, the Firebirds proved early they are looking to redeem last year’s results, scoring four runs in the first inning. Julia Piotrowski went 4-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs and Caroline Bratichak went 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs to lead Kellenberg. Daisha Howard went 3-for-3 with a double for Kellenberg, Jenna Laird, Newsday’s Nassau Player of the Year in 2018, went 3-for-3 with two doubles for East Meadow.
2. Kings Park 3, Half Hollow Hills West 1 on March 27
Taylor Eggert was on her game against last season’s Suffolk AA runners-up, recording 16 strikeouts and allowing two hits with five walks in the complete game. Marina Slezak had a single to drive in Sarah Robertson and later stole home to give Kings Park a 2-1 lead in the third inning. Grace Heim had a single to drive in Eggert and give Kings Park (2-0) a 3-1 lead later in the inning.
3. MacArthur 5, Calhoun 4 on March 28
MacArthur, winners of the Long Island Class AA championship in 2016 and Long Island Class A championship in 2017, has been a perennial power in Nassau softball, but an emerging core from Calhoun led the Colts to the Nassau AA finals last season. With Calhoun dropping to Class A but returning top talent, the two teams could be on a collision course for a championship, and an early victory showed MacArthur isn’t ready to give up its spot at the top yet. Lisa Fabig had a two-run, walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 win. Annie Zielinski hit a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth to tie the score at 3 for MacArthur. Calhoun's Lise-Anne Orlich homered in the sixth for a 4-3 lead. Jess Mauro pitched a complete game with 11 strikeouts for the Generals.
4. Newfield 2, West Islip 1 on March 29
The Wolverines, which won four games last season, opened this year winning five of their first six, including Erin Acevedo pitching a complete game with seven strikeouts and one walk to lead Newfield over a strong West Islip team. Sara Silver had both RBIs in the win.
5. East Islip 10, Kings Park 5 on April 1
East Islip, which won the Suffolk Class AA championship in 2017 and had the top seed in last season’s Class A playoffs, returns a strong core of talent and this matchup against Taylor Eggert, one of the top pitcher’s on Long Island, could be a look ahead to meaningful games played in May. Gianna Perretta hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning, Lauren Crawford went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Jenny Murphy went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs for East Islip.
Kyra Kreuscher earned the win, pitching seven innings, allowing one earned run on 10 hits, striking out six and walking one. Eggert had 11 strikeouts for Kings Park.
6. Oceanside 1, Massapequa 0 on April 1
In what figures to be a very competitive Nassau Conference AA-I throughout the spring, Oceanside picked up this 1-0 win courtesy of Emily Seaver’s single driving in Ariana Elbaz in the top of the third inning. Hallie Neufeld tossed a five-hitter in the win.
7. Calhoun 2, Mepham 0 on April 2
Lindsay Roman tossed a perfect game, with 11 strikeouts, over last season’s Nassau Class A runners-up. She also went 1-for-1 with two walks and an RBI, and Elizabeth Ricchetti went 1-for-3 with an RBI for the Colts.
8. Hicksville 13, Port Washington 3 on April 3
Despite playing in Nassau Conference AA-II, Hicksville took advantage of its first crossover game, proving plenty capable of playing with the top teams in the county. Gabby Smith went 2-for-4 with a home run, three runs scored and three RBIs. Ashley Badaracco earned the win, tossing a complete game with 11 strikeouts, while Ashley Pierce went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.
9. Sachem East 7, Commack 6 on April 5
Hailey Puglia proved why she’s one of the top pitchers on Long Island, throwing 5 1/3 innings, striking out two against a tough Commack team. Commack fought back, scoring five runs in the final two innings, before the Flaming Arrows held on for the win.
10. Commack 3, St. Anthony’s 2 on April 6
Commack, which entered last year’s Suffolk Class AA playoffs as the top seed, squared off with last season’s CHSAA state runners-up in this matchup of two of the top teams on Long Island. Commack emerged with the win, led by Kellie Gentile going 2-for-3 with a run scored and Emmi Katz allowing two runs on six hits, striking out seven and walking one, in a complete game.
Newsday softball rankings (with games reported to Newsday through April 8)
1. Kellenberg (8-0)
2. East Meadow (4-1)
3. St. Anthony’s (4-1)
4. Islip (5-0)
5. MacArthur (5-1)
6. Sachem East (7-1)
7. Mount Sinai (4-0)
8. Sayville (6-0)
9. Calhoun (4-1)
10. Sachem North (6-1)