Sophia Diaz surrendered a run in the top of the first inning, but when she stepped to the plate in the bottom of the first,, she was ready to help herself.
Diaz hit a three-run home run as No. 2 Massapequa went on to defeat No. 5 Syosset, 15-6, in Game 1 of the Nassau Class AA softball final.
“Just went in there thinking to myself, get a hit, move the runners over,” said Diaz whose homer gave Massapequa a 5-1 lead. “It was great to end up with a home run because that helped the team out even more.”
In the third inning Samantha Portz homered to give Massapequa grabbed a 9-2 lead after three innings. Syosset (9-15) got RBIs from Natalie Socci, Taylor Renny, Alexa Plevrites and Ella Lanza to cut the lead to 9-6 after four innings.
In the bottom of the sixth Massapequa put the game out of reach. Lauren O’Brien cleared the bases with a double and was then driven in by Emily Balducci. Balducci came home on an Annalise Lane single.
“We’re all about shifting the momentum in our favor,” Massapequa coach Christina Castellani said. “Whether it’s a play in the field or offensively, the drive and the want is present for the girls on this team.”
Balducci finished with three hits and two RBIs. O’Brien had two hits and Lane had three.
“We all know what we can do and no matter who we play, we’re going to produce,” Balducci said. “We all know how to wait for our pitch and we want to just keep building our lead.”
Diaz and Mikayla Buckley combined for seven innings in the circle. The duo has split time in the circle, each taking on a vital role for Massapequa.
“Pitching more this year has been exciting actually,” Diaz said. “You get to own the game in a sense and try to produce good energy for everyone.”
Massapequa (16-9) will have a chance to clinch the county title on Monday at 11:30 a.m. at Mitchel Field in Game 2.