More than 24 hours after the first pitch, the Mepham softball team can call itself a county champion.
After the game was suspended with two outs in the top of the seventh inning with Mepham leading Division 10-2 Thursday, the teams continued Friday evening. Mepham recorded the final three outs in a 10-2 victory to win the Nassau Class A championship at Hofstra — the first county title in program history, coach Brenda Dolan said.
“We were waiting for a while,” said pitcher Kayla Bourquin, who tossed a perfect seventh inning. “We knew they weren’t going to just come off the bus and give us the win.”
Top-seeded Mepham (21-2) plays the Suffolk A champion in the Long Island Class A / Southeast Regional Final at 7 p.m. Friday at the Eastport Athletic Complex.
Dominique DeLutri had a three-run, pinch-hit triple in the sixth inning to give Mepham a 7-2 lead. Delaney Haley had two hits for No. 3 Division (15-10).
“To be honest, I didn’t realize it was bases loaded,” DeLutri said. “I just put myself in a situation where I knew I could hit and I knew I could get a hit for the team and help the team out.”
But much like how Mepham often uses four pitchers in a game — as the Pirates did in the county final with Kayleigh Roth, Sydney LaMagra and Emma Greiner each throwing two innings before Bourquin pitched the seventh inning — Dolan preaches every player being ready for their moment to contribute.
“Everybody on the team knows to be ready to go and you have a job to do,” Dolan said. “And it may be one pitch, one swing, one throw, one play, it doesn’t matter. It all matters to us.”
Stefanie Simone, Brianna Morse and Gianna LaSpina each added two hits for Mepham. After rain forced the suspended game Thursday and a lengthy layoff, Friday dragged for the players until it came time to step back on the field.
“It felt like it took forever to get to this game,” Morse said. “But we were really hyped and really excited it’s over now.”
And after winning the first county title in program history, the Pirates are eager yet again to return to the field. The players even ran the bases after the victory like they would any other game, but this time, they had individual championship plaques in hand. But Mepham has to wait again, as the Pirates face the winner of Saturday's Islip-Sayville game on a pursuit toward a state championship.
“I think they’re excited to keep the journey going, but I think they’re more excited to stay with each other for a couple more weeks,” Dolan said. “And I think that’s a big piece.”