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Mepham uses four pitchers to win Nassau Class A opener

Mepham relief pitcher Sydney LaMagra throws to the

Mepham relief pitcher Sydney LaMagra throws to the plate during game one of the Nassau Class A softball finals against Division at Hofstra on Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Mepham's softball team is used to doing things unconventionally.

Whereas many high school teams have one or two pitchers they rely on, the Pirates have four options. Mepham's batters know how uncomfortable that would make them, so it’s an advantage they are happy to have.

“I know for us, it’s very hard for us to adjust to a new pitcher every inning or so,” Brianna Morse said. “So for other teams, we just mix it up a little and give it our best shot.”

The matchups were all in top-seeded Mepham’s favor Wednesday, when the Pirates used four pitchers in a 6-2 win over No. 3 Division in Game 1 of the best-of-three Nassau Class A championship at Hofstra. Game 2 is there Thursday at 5 p.m.

“I don’t think a lot of teams have as many as I do, and that’s a luxury I have,” coach Brenda Dolan said. “Any one of them can pitch a whole game, but that’s not necessary.”

After Kayleigh Roth started the game, Sydney LaMagra, Emma Greiner and Kayla Bourquin threw five shutout innings, with LaMagra getting the victory.

“I love that we use all four of our pitchers every game, because the other team sees all different pitching and I think it works really well for us,” said Bourquin, who tossed a scoreless seventh inning. “It’s a good system that we have and I wouldn’t change it.”

Division (17-9) opened the scoring with two runs in the first two innings. Dani Roselli's single drove in Delaley Haley, and a single from Erin Cacciuttolo brought in Victoria Hines. Mepham’s comeback began with one swing -- a home run by Gianna LaSpina in the bottom of the second.

“It felt amazing,” said LaSpina, who was 3-for-3 with three RBIs. “We were down two runs and it was just great to get the team going.”

Mepham (20-2) added three runs in the third inning and two more in the fifth, on RBI doubles by LaSpina and Morse. 

Morse went 2-for-3 with two doubles, Stefanie Simone went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Jenna Giliberti scored two runs.

“We definitely wanted to get the first one out of the way, and we’re so happy we did,” Morse said. “And we’re ready to come back tomorrow.”

After falling in the Nassau Class A championships last season, the Pirates aren’t taking anything for granted.

“Last year we were so close,” LaSpina said. “And this year, we’re even closer after getting this one out of the way.”

“Our team knows that any team can win on any given day, so we know the Division team is not just going to hand it to us,” Bourquin said. “We have to work really hard to get it, but it is really exciting.”

Class AA, B postponed. The Nassau Class A championship was the first of three scheduled games Wednesday at Hofstra, but impending weather forced officials to postpone the other two. 

No. 2 Oyster Bay and No. 1 East Rockaway will play Game 1 of the best-of-three Nassau Class B championship Thursday at 2:30 p.m. and Game 2 Friday at 5 p.m.

Second-seeded Oceanside and No. 1 East Meadow will begin their best-of-three Nassau Class AA championship Thursday at 7:30 p.m., with Game 2 Friday at 2:30.

If necessary, the Nassau Class AA and Class B Game 3’s will be Saturday. The Class A Game 3 would be Friday at 7:30 p.m. All Nassau softball championship games are played at Hofstra.

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