Emily Balducci #15 Massapequa celebrates as she scores during the...

Emily Balducci #15 Massapequa celebrates as she scores during the LI Class AA softball championship at Farmingdale State College, on Friday, June 2, 2023. Credit: NEIL MILLER

Not even a lightning delay could stop Massapequa’s thunderous offense.

Massapequa scored nine first-inning runs en route to defending its title with a 20-7, five-inning win over Smithtown East in the Long Island Class AA softball championship at Farmingdale State College on Friday.

“This is huge,” said Sophia Diaz, who went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and was a home run shy of the cycle. “We won it last year. [But] we lost a lot of people. To come back and win it as a team this time — there’s not one person that’s greater than the other.”

Up next: A trip to the state semifinals on June 9.  

Smithtown East (18-8) struck first with two runs in the top of the first off singles from Marissa Formosa and Eva Roman. But the game was delayed by lightning in the bottom half after a leadoff triple from Katie Stork.

After resuming play about 30 minutes later, Massapequa (18-9) batted around without recording an out.

Emily Balducci's single drove in Stork and Lauren O’Brien to tie it at 2. Maeve Schiereck added another two-run single and then Diaz's two-run triple made it 6-2.  

Balducci added another RBI single her next at-bat in the inning. She went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, two runs and a walk. O’Brien went 2-for-4 with four RBIs, one run and one walk. Schiereck went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs.

“We didn’t start off the season like this, but it’s been a lot of work during the season,” Massapequa coach Christina Castellani said of the team’s offense. “We definitely treat the season as if it’s a practice for the postseason . . . It’s nice to see that all this hard work is finally coming into fruition and paying off.”

Diaz struck out four across 4 1/3 innings while allowing four earned runs. Mikayla Buckley threw the final two outs in the fifth.

For Smithtown East, Formosa went 4-for-4 with two RBIs, and Gabriella Zarcone went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, one run and a triple. Gabby Amicizia, Roman and Michaela Manger each had one RBI.
Massapequa will next play the winner of Section V Rush Henrietta and Section VI Clarence in the state semifinals at the Moriches Athletic Complex.

“Just come in like it’s our last game,” Stork said. “Come in hot. We have everything to lose and everything to win.”

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