Stephanie Serwan will never forget her final at-bat for Lindenhurst softball outside the McKenna Administration Building.
Serwan, a senior on Senior Day, stepped to the plate with the score tied in the bottom of the seventh inning. After Shannon Griffin led off with a hard ground ball that the first baseman couldn’t field cleanly and was replaced by Alexa Leimeister to run, Serwan drove a two-strike, run-scoring double into leftfield to give Lindenhurst the 2-1 victory over Connetquot in Suffolk II softball Thursday to keep its playoff hopes alive.
“That was crazy,” said Serwan on her 18th birthday. “I was running and crying as I was going to second. That was the best feeling in the world.”
Facing Connetquot’s standout pitcher Sarah McKeveny, Serwan said she was “just hoping to get on base.” After delivering for the Bulldogs, Alyssa Schwalb sprinted and jumped into Serwan’s arms.
“That’s definitely one of the best and one of my most important hits,” Serwan said, “so I’m very happy about it.”
Lindenhurst (7-6) scored first on Caitlin Gosline’s solo home run to centerfield in the fourth inning for her first varsity home run.
“Amazing,” Gosline said. “I saw the pitch coming and it was a perfect pitch.”
McKeveny retired nine of the first 10 batters — including eight strikeouts — before giving up the long ball. She pitched a complete game with 15 strikeouts.
“We have so much respect for that team,” Lindenhurst coach Rick Caravaggio said. “Sarah is one of the best pitchers in the country. Period. She’s the real deal.”
Connetquot (10-1) tied it at 1 in the sixth inning when Danielle Curran drove in Ashley Spencer on a double to centerfield. It was Curran’s second double of the afternoon.
But Hailey Spinella held the rest of Connetquot’s potent offense in check, allowing seven hits with one strikeout and one walk in the complete game. She was helped throughout the game by her defense.
In the fourth inning, rightfielder Dina Kessinger made a long running catch for the final out and in the sixth, she made a nice throw to get the lead runner after a ball dropped into shallow right after being caught up in the wind. Spinella also escaped the fifth after Kayla Kenehan hit a hard ground ball that Spinella got her glove on and deflected to Schwalb at second base to start a double play.
“I just trust my team so much,” Spinella said. “I know they have anything. Someone like Caitlin and Steph put their body on the line for everything.”