The players on the Mount Sinai softball team like to dance to the oldies. Before each game, they warm up to music from the days of vinyl. Then, at the plate, they continue cranking out the hits.
The top-seeded Mustangs, with only one senior in the lineup, defeated Islip, 12-1, in the Suffolk A tournament Saturday to move within one win of a second straight county championship.
Kelsey Carr allowed three hits, walked one and struck out 10 in a complete game. Holly McNair went 3-for-4 and capped a two-out, seven-run rally in the bottom of the fifth with a three-run double.
“This team has potential to be good for a long time,” Mount Sinai coach Tom Tilton said. “This is a very, very young team. I don’t think people realize how young they are.”
The Mustangs’ infield Saturday consisted of two sophomores and two freshmen. Their outfield had one freshman, one junior and senior Sabrina Burrus. Their catcher was a sophomore. Their pitcher was an eighth-grader.
So who the heck picked oldies music? “The coach,” Tilton said with a laugh. “He’s real old.”
The pregame playlist changed recently when Tilton suggested they use the music on his phone. It was filled with artists such as the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, the Four Seasons and other bands from years gone by.
“We were getting sick of all the stuff on the radio,” said Carr, an eighth-grader. “Tom put his music on and it was just fun to dance to.”
And they believe that grooving to the oldies keeps them in a groove at the plate.
Burrus went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, including a two-out single in the fifth to tie the score at 1 for Mount Sinai (21-1).
“I try to play the role of big sister since I’m the veteran on this team,” Burrus said. “All the girls like to have fun but are very passionate.”
Emma Wimmer walked with the bases loaded to plate the go-ahead run. Molly Birnstill followed with an RBI single. Julia Golino then beat the throw to third on a fielder’s- choice attempt to score another run and load the bases for McNair, a freshman.
“We have a lot of talent and chemistry,” said Lové Drumgole, a sophomore shortstop. “So we just put it all together.”
Islip (19-4), which went up 1-0 in the first on Alexis Freudenberg’s RBI triple, will play Miller Place or Hampton Bays on Tuesday in the double-elimination tournament. The winner plays on Wednesday at Mount Sinai, where the Beatles or Four Tops may blare from the speakers before the young Mustangs attempt to repeat.
“We make every practice like it’s the county championship,” McNair said. “We go all out every day to get better. Over the next couple of years, we’re going to keep growing and growing, and when we get older, we’ll be even better.”
They’ll be oldies but goodies.