East Islip (18-1, 17-1 League III) has clinched the second seed in Class AA, and should they advance to the finals, they'll likely be met by the Bay Shore powerhouse. The Marauders ousted East Islip from the playoffs last year, 4-0, in the semi-finals, but this East Islip team believes it has the stuff to avenge that early exit.
“We're always preparing for the best, and right now that team's the best,” coach Stephanie Nardone said. “Team have come close to beating them, but haven't.”
East Islip has long been known for its powerful bats – led by Dayna White and Colleen Smith this year – but this year's pitching is nothing to sneeze at either. In her first full year as a starter, senior Rachel Dell'Orto has lost only one game, thrown a no-hitter, and struck out 16 in a game.
“She is one of a kind, this kid,” Nardone said. “She's five-foot-two, but has beautiful power and a push through her pitches with her back leg. She's able to create a nice spin and the ball really moves. Is she going to be able to overpower a team? Maybe not. But she's able to keep them off balance.”
“And she has a lot of heart. She's matured so much as a player this year in regards to her composure on the mound, in regards to her attitude of wanting to really beat anybody she faces.”