Long Islanders came together to welcome home the Massapequa International 12U softball team Monday after their World Series win. The team became the first Little League Softball World Series champion from New York. NewsdayTV’s Carissa Kellman reports. Credit: Newsday/Howard Schnapp; Little League Softball World Series, Howard Simmons

Pitcher Olivia Feldman felt the love and support of her teammates on the mound.

The Massapequa 12U softball team shouted “family!” during a mound visit with two outs in the top of the sixth inning Sunday. Three pitches later, Feldman caught a pop-up for the final out as Massapequa International defeated North Carolina, 5-2, in the Little League Softball World Series championship game at Stallings Stadium in Greenville, North Carolina.

Massapequa secured the first Little League Softball World Series title in state history.

“[It] was very exciting knowing my team was going to push through and do this,” starting pitcher Alexis Fontana said. “I knew Liv was going to throw strikes like usual and we were just going to make plays.”

Feldman pitched 3  1⁄3 innings of relief and allowed no hits. The lone baserunner she allowed came on a walk in the top of the sixth. Fontana pitched the first 2 2⁄3 innings, allowing two runs and five hits.

The duo, in conjunction with the defense, consistently was the backbone of the team throughout the tournament. They were able to keep Braelyn Johnson, who was hitting .545 this week entering the championship game, off the basepaths.

“These are the most steady pitchers I’ve ever [had],” coach Rich Eaton said. “I think they walked 16 people in 19 games, something like that. If they walk someone, that’s it. You never see another [walk]. They never get flustered. They always keep you in the game.”

In the bottom of the first, Fontana stole third and scored the game’s first run on an error. Feldman singled and Abigail Long followed with an RBI double to centerfield. Emma Brown singled home Long to give Massapequa a 3-0 lead.

“We were just trying to attack the first strike we saw,” Fontana said. “And just jump on her early to put up a few runs.”

“When you score first, it takes all the pressure off the pitchers,” Eaton said. “But to be honest, Alexis getting us out of the first inning without giving them a run was really the catalyst.”

Jocelyn Vandenberg collected her first hit of the World Series in the second, a double to left that drove in Mia Victor from first base to make it 4-0.

With Massapequa up 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth, Sienna Erker raced home on Cassie Van Schuyler’s hard ground ball to shortstop to take a 5-2 lead.

Said Fontana, “It all just feels like a dream right now. It doesn’t feel like it actually happened. But at the same time, we’re so excited knowing that it really did happen and that we’re World Series champions.”

Long Island's Own

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