In a split second, Sabrina Burrus went from frustrated to elated, from exasperation to jubilation.
The Mount Sinai catcher was robbed of a game-winning hit when her rocket line drive in the bottom of the seventh was spectacularly snared by a sprawling Sayville third baseman Julia Hodgkinson with the bases loaded. But in a hurried effort to double off the runner at first, Hodgkinson made an errant throw that allowed the winning run to score in the Mustangs’ 11-10 non-league softball victory Wednesday that matched two undefeated teams.
“It happened so fast, but I was so stoked,” said Burrus, who was 2-for-4 with an RBI double. “Honestly, at first I was thinking I should have done something else. I was just hoping I could get it out to the green.”
The Mustangs (8-0 overall, 6-0 in Suffolk VI) overcame deficits of and 8-4 and 9-6 with a 15-hit attack. They tied it at 9 with three in the sixth, two scoring on Holly McNair’s second double and the tying run coming home on a sacrifice fly by Hailey LaGiudice (2-for-2, three RBIs).
Mount Sinai shortstop Lové Drumgole, who already had three hits and two runs, nearly won the game leading off the bottom of the seventh. She ripped a tailing line drive to right that would likely have been a home run if not for a sensational diving catch by Mel O’Hoppe. “That was kind of annoying,” Drumgole said, smilingly. “It was nerve-wracking, but we live for these close games. We consider Sayville one of our biggest rivals.”
Molly Birnstill and Julia Golino followed with singles and cleanup hitter Angela Bukofsky (2-for-4, two runs) was hit by a pitch, setting up Burrus’ at-bat. Although she couldn’t aim the softball, she achieved her aim of knocking off a possible playoff opponent. “This sets a tone for the rest of the season,” Burrus said. “It was uplifting.”
It didn’t start out that way as Sayville (7-1 overall, 5-0 in Suffolk V) took advantage of three walks to score three runs in the top of the first and capitalized on two more walks and two hit batters to score five in the third for an 8-4 lead. Lyndsey Shaw led the Golden Flashes with three singles and four RBIs.
But it’s tough to win a slugfest against Mount Sinai. “They work so hard on their hitting,” Mustangs coach Tom Tilton said. “Base hits are the name of the game. I always tell the girls if you hit, you win.”