Sarah Cornell was masterful, carrying a no-hitter through six innings and striking out batters seemingly at will, and she helped with her bat, too.
The Clarke ace drove a ball deep to centerfield for a sacrifice fly that brought in Kirstin Cox for the first run of the game in the sixth. Clarke added three runs in the seventh and beat Carey, 4-0, in the first game of the Nassau A finals Monday at the Mitchel Athletic Complex.
“I’m not just a pitcher, I can hit, too,” said Cornell, who had a season-high 19 strikeouts and allowed two hits and no walks in a complete game. “I think the first run set the tone of the whole game even though it was in the sixth inning. It was a domino effect.”
On her pitching, Cornell added: “I was kind of in a daze. I blocked out everyone and pitched like I know how to. I kept it off the plate and I didn’t put much down the middle.”
Cox went 2-for-3 with an RBI in the final inning to lead No. 2-seeded Clarke (14-3). Christina Fracchioni and Emily Widmaier also drove in runs in the seventh.
Rebecca Vilchez of top-seeded Carey (18-3), allowed six hits and rarely got into trouble. She threw five scoreless innings behind a strong defense.
“She’s a phenomenal pitcher,” Clarke coach Rachel Barry said of Vilchez. “She throws a screwball and a rise ball that’s almost untouchable. When we finally got a chance to beat her and put the ball in play, it was contagious.
“It was earned. We put the ball in play, we did the little things right, we ran the bases well and there’s nothing better than having a defense led by someone like Sarah Cornell.”
MacArthur 8, East Meadow 2: Hannah Rommel hit a triple and quietly ran home before time was called on the play to give MacArthur its first run in the second. Lisa Fabig hit a three-run home run to cap a five-run third inning as top-seeded MacArthur beat No. 3 East Meadow, 8-2, in the first game of the Nassau AA finals.
“We just communicated well and brought the runs and the intensity we needed,” Fabig said. “It’s amazing, especially as a freshman on varsity. It’s so overwhelming and shocking just to be here. Winning this game was unbelievable.”
East Meadow (17-4) scored in the fifth inning and added a run in the sixth. MacArthur (19-4) got its final two runs in the fourth.
Oyster Bay 13, Wheatley 3: Oyster Bay jumped out to a six-run lead in the third inning and rolled past Wheatley in the opener of the Nassau B finals. Taylor Wilson and Emily Moore led top-seeded Oyster Bay (4-11) with three runs each, and Danielle Sugar and Hannah Lopes each had two. Sam Hurtado scored twice for No. 2 Wheatley (12-8).