With its three-run lead gone and facing a one-run deficit in an elimination game, the Oceanside softball team did the one thing it does as well as any team on Long Island: It hit. And the hits just kept on coming.
Ashley Corr doubled to start the bottom of the sixth inning, followed by Catie Henn’s single. Samantha Reyer singled in Corr to tie it. Emily Seaver later delivered the go-ahead, one-out single for the winning run in host Oceanside's 7-6 victory over Massapequa Friday in a deciding Game 3 of the Nassau Class AA semifinals.
“It was amazing,” said Seaver, who had three RBIs. “It was definitely nerve-wracking, but I kind of enjoy those situations. It gets everyone excited and I had complete trust in this team.”
With Seaver at bat in a tie game and the bases loaded, Oceanside coach Carlo Quagliata knew something good was about to happen.
“Once we had that go-ahead run there, I knew she would put the ball in play, I knew she would hit it hard,” he said. “I thought she may actually hit it out.”
Oceanside pitcher Skylar LoPiccolo returned to the circle to record the final three outs of a complete game, stranding runners on second and third. “I knew my team had my back, so I was just pitching and doing what I know I can do,” said the freshman. “And if they hit it, I know my team can make the outs.”
No. 2 Oceanside (14-9) advances to play top-seeded and two-time defending Long Island Class AA champion East Meadow in a best-of-three Nassau Class AA championship, starting Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Hofstra.
No. 3 Massapequa (13-8) put together a four-run sixth inning, highlighted by Ellie Egher’s two-run single, to take a 6-5 lead before Oceanside scored its final two runs. Elena Rubino had a home run in the fifth inning to give Oceanside a 5-2 advantage.
The Sailors, who had at least one hit from all nine starters, also had help on the defensive side, highlighted by Cat Stanford’s catch to rob a home run from Kim Westenberg in the second inning. Stanford ran through and over the mesh fence in centerfield, holding on to complete the play. Westenberg later hit a home run for Massapequa.
“I was like, ‘I need to get this because I know I can do it,’ ” said Stanford, who also went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. “And also I did it for my Grandma, because she passed away Tuesday. So I was like, ‘She’s with me and I’m going to do it for her.’ ”
Stanford's teammates and coach were impressed.
“Once she made that catch, I was like, ‘Yes, that’s my centerfielder. Look at her go,’ ” LoPiccolo said. “Because I knew she could do it.”
“To be honest, not surprising,” Quagliata said. “I’ve said all along, best centerfield in the county. Hands down. I’ll put her up against anybody.”