Feeling her team was in need of a little luck with the Long Island championship on the line, Lisa Fabig pulled a four-leaf clover out of her pocket and ate it.
“It’s tradition for us,” Fabig said. “If you find a four-leaf clover, you have to eat it. Pretty soon after I swallowed it, the big moment happened.”
If that big moment was because of luck, though, it certainly had some skill and discipline mixed in. MacArthur rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh, capped by a walk-off walk, for an 8-7 softball win over Commack in the Long Island Class AA championship game on Friday at Hofstra.
With MacArthur trailing 7-6, Fabig walked with the bases full to force in the tying run. Deanna Barrera also drew a walk to drive in Gabby DeNunzio and give the Generals the title.
“I’ve never been in that situation before and it was incredibly exciting,” Barrera said. “My mindset was just to do my job. It was just a matter of zoning in.”
Just as her teammates did before her. Jessica Lombardo singled to start the seventh, putting the tying run on base. The biggest hit of the inning came from DeNunzio, who crushed a double to center before an intentional walk loaded the bases with none out.
“I just had to stay calm and collected and help my team,” DeNunzio said. “We worked so hard for this. When I stepped on home plate, I was like, ‘Wow. We just won the Long Island championship.’ ”
They nearly were denied because of a thrilling comeback by Commack that erased MacArthur’s 6-1 lead.
Kaysi Gruner hit a three-run home run for Commack to make the score 6-4 in the top of the fifth. In the sixth, Gianna Venuti beat out an infield single to load the bases with one out. Danielle Gambino then singled to drive in two runs and tie the score at 6. Nicole Principe followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Cougars a 7-6 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Fabig pulled out the four-leaf clover.
While on the field during warmups, the Generals search the grass for four-leaf clovers. Whoever finds one has to eat it. Yesterday, before leaving for Hofstra, Fabig and Shannon Myles found them. Myles ate hers, so Fabig saved the other until an extra dose of luck was needed.
Fabig drove in the tying run and Myles went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. How much luck was involved?
“Well, I’m basically eating grass, so I’d like to think it helps a little bit,” Myles said, laughing. “But a comeback like this also takes skill and takes heart.”
The Generals advanced to the state Class AA semifinals next Saturday at 9 a.m. at Moreau Park in Glens Falls. Myles and her teammates are planning to search the MacArthur outfield to find four-leaf clovers to bring upstate.
“There’s a lot of clovers out there,” Myles said. “I’ll search for hours if I have to.”
With their luck, they’ll find some.