Sophie Nesturrick of Oceanside, Logan Denman of Oceanside and Samantha...

Sophie Nesturrick of Oceanside, Logan Denman of Oceanside and Samantha Chasin of Oceanside hold up their county championship plaque at the Nassau girls Class AAA softball finals against Massapequa on Sunday, May 26, 2024 at Farmingdale State College. Credit: Dawn McCormick

After struggling to break through for the past eight years, Oceanside softball finally got it done, securing the Nassau AAA championship on Sunday at Farmingdale.

Sophomore pitcher Caroline Ferchland was handed the ball in Game 2 and engaged in a pitcher’s duel with Massapequa’s Shea Santiago. Ferchland had everything working from the very first pitch and twirled a four-hit shutout, striking out eight while walking just one to lead Oceanside to a 2-0 win.

With a good support group in place for her, including Fordham commit catcher Sophie Nesturrick, Ferchland felt confident going into Game two.

“I think my teammates really help me out and I know my coaches believe in me,” Ferchland said. “I know everyone’s got my back. Sophie’s been great for me this year. She knows how to calm me down.”

Part of Ferchland’s support system is senior leftfielder Julia Valukis, a West Connecticut commit. After having a big Game 1 to put Oceanside (17-8) in the driver’s seat, Valukis had the biggest hit of the day in the bottom of the third inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Valukis grounded the first pitch through the middle to drive in a pair.

Valukis’ hit was one of only two that the Sailors collected off Santiago on Sunday. Though it was a high-leverage moment, Valukis’ simple approach successfully guided her through it.

“My main focus was just to hit the ball and get on first — to get on base somehow,” Valukis said. “It feels great to come through, but I owe it all to the girls.”

Massapequa (17-7) had runners on first and second with one out in the top of the sixth inning, but Oceanside’s defense came through. Rightfielder Christina Vlahakis caught a fly ball and hit her cutoff person — second baseman Maya Levy — allowing Levy to make a perfect relay at third base and turn the inning-ending double play.

Oceanside coach Carlo Quagliata was pumped to win his first career county championship — the school’s first since 2015.

“This is by far, my proudest moment coaching,” Quagliata said. “I coached the most talented team in the county, that’s all I can say.”

He continued to credit everyone else, including the folks off the field.

“This is not me,” Quagliata said. “This is a town win, this is an Oceanside win. All of those fans, this is what they did.”


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