Sachem East's Gianna Prisco connects for a single against Fairport during...

Sachem East's Gianna Prisco connects for a single against Fairport during the state Class AAA semifinal, Friday, June 7, 2024 at Martha Ave Athletic Complex in Bellport. Credit: George A Faella

For Sachem East softball coach Amanda Stallone, the state Class AAA softball semifinal was just a taste of what her team is capable of.

Stallone led her team to its first Suffolk County and Long Island championship titles this spring, but Sachem East fell short, 8–3, to Fairport (Section V) Friday at Martha Avenue Recreational Park in Bellport.

“They know what they can do and now they know exactly what needs to happen for them to get there,” Stallone said.

Gianna Prisco scored on a bunt single by Angelina Cornand to give Sachem East a 1–0 lead in the bottom of the third.

Senior pitcher Olivia DeRose held Fairport to one hit through four innings, but the Red Raiders rallied in the fifth. Fairport scored four runs before DeRose was hit in the hip by a line drive. DeRose was down in the circle for a few minutes, but was able to walk to the dugout on her own power.

“She’s our driving force,” Stallone said. “She’s this whole team.”

Fairport scored all eight of its runs in the fifth. Cornand, a freshman, entered the circle in the top of the sixth and held Fairport scoreless for the final two innings of the game.

In the bottom of the seventh, Cornand launched a double into left field, driving home Samantha Madigan and Cameron Buckstein. 

Fairport (14–9) will face Corning (Section IV) in the final at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Martha Avenue.

DeRose said despite the loss, she could not have asked for a better way to close out her softball career with Sachem East (20–5). DeRose allowed only one run in the team’s five playoff games before Friday, including a no-hitter in a 6–0 win over previously undefeated Riverhead to advance to the county title game. 

“I’m very proud of my team,” DeRose said. “I wasn’t expecting this, so I’m really happy with how far we made it. I don’t have any complaints.”

With Sachem East graduating only three seniors this season, Stallone said she is most proud of the way her younger athletes stepped up to the plate and never hesitated to give their best effort. Sachem East’s lineup includes four freshmen and one eighth grader.

“We’ve had a lot of girls who haven’t played in a while and they showed up,” Stallone said. “I’m so proud of these girls for keeping their heads up high.”

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