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Oh, brother! Mount Sinai’s Lové Drumgole is quite a talent and competitor

Mount Sinai shortstop Love' Drumgole is a two-time

Mount Sinai shortstop Love' Drumgole is a two-time All-Long Island selection who batted .673 last season. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Before she ever stepped onto a softball diamond, Mount Sinai’s Love’ Drumgole had been put through a sports gauntlet:

  • Football tackle dummy for her two older brothers.
  • Street-football participant with and against boys.
  • Perfect-diving catch drill (to be explained later).

So, what did all these things combined produce? Drumgole is one of the most talented softball players in Suffolk, if not Long Island, and a fierce competitor.

“If [my brothers] didn’t treat me the way they did, I wouldn’t be so fearless,” said Drumgole, the youngest of six children, whose first name is pronounced: Le-Vay. “I’d be scared to dive or go hard at practice.”

That’s never been the case, however, for the Mustangs’ senior shortstop and two-time Newsday All-Long Island selection. Drumgole has a chance to etch her name into the Suffolk softball record book in categories such as career hits (she has 161), runs (116) and stolen bases (91 in 96 attempts), to name a few.

But the University at Albany signee has bigger concerns than individual success. She is trying to lead the Mustangs — winners of three straight Suffolk A titles — to their first Long Island Class A championship and a trip to the state semifinals in South Glens Falls in June.

“Mount Sinai was also our Little League team, and it’s funny, because we could never make it off the Island, either [to advance farther in the tournament],” said Drumgole, who batted .673 with 39 RBIs, 35 runs and 29 steals a year ago. “Sometimes, we wonder if we’re cursed.”

While Drumgole didn’t feel cursed as a youngster, she felt the wrath of being the baby sister of two older, active brothers — Brandonn and Joshua — who both loved sports.

“I was always with the boys playing football,” Drumgole said. (No wonder Drumgole caught three touchdown passes as a wide receiver this fall in the annual Mt. Sinai girls football game.)

She recalls being about 11- or 12-years-old and practicing softball with Brandonn.

“He made me stay outside,” Drumgole said, “until I made 10 perfect diving plays.

“I was in the front yard diving with sticks and acorns everywhere. It was terrible,” she said, laughing. “But it made me better.”

Drumgole also makes her teammates better with in-game suggestions that usually pay off.

“We were playing against Rocky Point,” said junior Ilexa Skulnick, who split time between catcher and second base last season. “Love’ told me, ‘Move up a step [in the batter’s box].’ Next pitch, I hit a home run. No one on the team knows the game better than her.”

And few work harder than Drumgole.

“I’ve come across unbelievably talented kids, and sometimes they carry themselves with an arrogance, but she’s not that type of kid,” said Jason Surdi, the former Comsewogue coach who went against Drumgole and the Mustangs as an opponent and is now in his first season with Mt. Sinai. “She’s a natural-born leader with a work ethic that is as good as anyone’s if not the best.”

Drumgole, who hit two home runs and turned two double plays in her varsity debut as an eighth-grader, recently reflected on her five-year career.

“I feel like it went so fast, and now we have one last chance,” said Drumgole, a .579 lifetime hitter for the Mustangs. “I love playing softball, and I just want to be the best I can be.”

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