West Islip's Alexa Ficalora (25) rips a shot to left...

West Islip's Alexa Ficalora (25) rips a shot to left center field to drive in the winning run in the bottom of the eight inning during the Suffolk High School softball Class AA final between East Islip and West Islip on Monday May 27, 2024 at Martha Avenue Recreational Park Credit: Bob Sorensen

Two outs, bottom of the eighth inning of a tied, winner-take-all game, and Alexa Ficalora delivered a hit that would end a 20-year drought for West Islip softball.

Ficalora drove the first pitch into the left centerfield gap, scoring Alexa Reale from first base as No. 2 West Islip earned a 2-1, walk-off win over No. 3 East Islip in the Suffolk Class AA championship at Martha Avenue Recreation Park in Bellport on Tuesday night.

“I wasn’t trying to be the hero. I wanted to put the ball in play and get on base,” Ficalora said. “When I hit it, I just put my head down and ran.”

“There were two outs, so I knew I had to get going off the bat,” Reale said. “I saw coach wave her hands and I knew I was going home to win it.”

Emily Bouros drew a one-out walk and Reale came on as a courtesy runner. Bouros tossed eight innings and struck out nine.

The sophomore retired nine of 10 batters between the fifth and seventh innings. She hit a batter to lead off the eighth and allowed a one-out single, before retiring the next two batters, keeping East Islip off the board.

“I rely on my defense and my teammates,” Bouros said. “When there’s runners on I just have to remember to take a deep breath and go after who is in front of me.”

East Islip (19-8) opened the scoring in the second, when Meeya Leaderman singled with one out and came around to score on a wild pitch.

West Islip loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the second. Caitlin Ropiak induced a pop-up and a liner to rightfield, where Alyssa Corso made the catch and doubled the runner off first, to get East Islip out of the inning.

“The girls know how to pick each other up and have each other’s backs,” West Islip coach Colleen Reilly said. “It was disappointing not scoring, but everyone kept their head up and got it done.”

Penelope Knoop, who hit into the double-play, put a pitch in play with two outs, on an 0-2 count in the fourth, scoring Ficalora to tie the score at 1.

West Islip (20-5) last won a county title in 2004 and would win the Long Island championship that season. The Lions will take on Bellmore JFK at 5 p.m. Friday, at Martha Avenue Recreation Park in the Class AA Long Island championship.

“It was stressful, but I knew we just had to push through,” Camryn Mariano said. “We had to take advantage of any opportunity and I’m happy to have got it done with this group.”


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months