Seaford starting pitcher Skyler Secondino windmills her delivery during game...

Seaford starting pitcher Skyler Secondino windmills her delivery during game one of the Nassau Class A softball final against Wantagh at SUNY Farmingdale on Saturday, May 25, 2024. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Seaford’s Skyler Secondino stood on the mound, with the potential tying run on second base. A quick glance at the scoreboard at Farmingdale State displayed the stakes - two outs and a full count in the bottom of the seventh inning of the first game in the best-of-3 Nassau Class A softball championship series. Two errors set the scenario up, with momentum drifting away from the Vikings.

But Secondino has been here before. The junior not only led the Vikings to a county title a year ago, but also a Long Island championship.

“I just breathe,” Secondino said. “I trust myself, I trust my team.”

After forcing a groundout to seal No. 2 Seaford’s 3-1 win over No. 1 Wantagh Saturday morning, Secondino can breathe a bit easier knowing her Vikings are one win away from defending their Nassau Class A crown.

"A walk causes the bases to be loaded, and we don’t want to give Wantagh that upper hand," Secondino said. "So I just put it into my hand and gave it what I had.”

Secondino struck out six across a two-hitter and saw only an unearned run cross against her. The pitcher had just as strong of a day at the plate, scoring two of Seaford’s runs while going 3-for-4. Her only unsuccessful at-bat came when she flied out to deep rightfield, just missing a home run.

Secondino scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Katie Young to break a 1-1 tie in the sixth. Wantagh shortstop Casey Kissinger nearly caught Secondino at the plate after making a nice catch in shallow leftfield and firing home.

“I knew I had to make an impact with what I had, that it would’ve been a tough play with [Kissinger’s] back turned,” Secondino said of the decision to tag up on the shallow pop. “I trusted my speed and my softball ability.”

“Kissinger is a really good player,” Seaford coach Joseph Nastasi said. “Sometimes you make daring plays and you take risks in big games, and we’re lucky it paid off there…That's playoff, championship softball.”

Later in the inning, eighth-grader Rylie Betz’ RBI single to leftfield drove in Kaitlyn Young and gave Seaford the 3-1 lead.

Saturday marked the third meeting between the two teams this season, with Secondino and Wantagh freshman Lucy Olore pitching in all three games. Saturday, Olore struck out seven in a complete game and allowed five hits, all of which came after the third inning. Junior Emma Priest also shined at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and a triple.

Wantagh hasn’t lost back-to-back games since last season’s semifinal series against Clarke. Both Secondino and Nastasi believe Game 2, scheduled for Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at Farmingdale State, will be just as close as the opener.

“We know all about them, they know all about us,” Secondino said. “It’s just who’s playing off their game that day, and we brought it all today.”


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