Lindsay Taylor’s season checklist has but one box left unchecked.
-- Break the Suffolk County wins record…Check.
-- Break the Suffolk County strikeouts record…Check
-- Toss perfect game…Check, check and check.
-- Lead Kings Park to an 18-2 regular season and top seed in playoffs…Check.
-- Help Kings Park to its first county title…Check
-- Help Kings Park to its first Long Island championship…Check.
-- Help Kings Park to its first Class A state championship….
Taylor's remarkable five-year career at Kings Park will come to an end at the state tournament on Saturday at the Adirondack Sport Complex in Queensbury. But the biggest games of that career are still to be played, beginning with the Class A state semifinal at 9 a.m., and if all goes well, the final later that afternoon.
After dropping the first game of the season, a 15-run loss to Deer Park, Kings Park has won 23 of 24 games en route to the winningest season in the program’s history.
They are joined by the Torlincasi sisters, both of whom contributed in the county and LIC wins respectively. Nicole, a sophomore, went 3-for-4 and scored the go-ahead run after a leadoff triple to lead Kings Park over Sayville for the county title. Her older sister Reina, a junior, hit a three-run triple in the first inning of a 4-2 win over Seaford in the LIC.
Kings Park also features some young talent in freshman shortstop Paige Julich and eighth graders Ariana Ambrosio, who has developed a rapport with Taylor behind the plate, and Cheyenne Girraputo, an up-and-coming outfielder.
It’s a young team that understands how hard it is to replace program-altering pitchers like Taylor. With Taylor bound for Syracuse next fall, there is a sense of urgency to capture the state title this season.
“Knowing that there might not be another chance with all the great players leaving, we have to do it while we can,” Girraputo said after winning the county championship.
They will get their chance on Saturday. With two more wins, Kings Park will secure that title and check off the final box on Taylor’s list.