East Meadow wins first L.I. title

Shapiro's one-hit gem leads Lady Jets



An 11-day layoff had no ill effects on the East Meadow girls’ softball team, which made history June 4 with a convincing 7-0 victory over Longwood in the Long Island Class AA championship game at Dowling Sports Complex.

The Lady Jets, who hadn‘t played since May 23, when they captured their second Nassau Class AA title in four years, scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning and left the rest up to junior pitcher Kerri Shapiro on the way to winning their first-ever L.I. crown. Shapiro tossed a one-hitter, struck out nine, walked none, and went 3 for 4 with two RBIs. Longwood’s lone hit was a single by Kylie Spillett in the top of the first.

“The girls played like they’ve played all year,” East Meadow coach Stew Fritz said. “They’re a special group. They wanted to accomplish something that’s never been done before [by the program], and they went out and did it.

“It was a long wait between games,” he added. “But Kerri got the rest she needed. She pitched great, we made some nice defensive plays, and everyone hit.”

The Lady Jets (18-9 overall) won their New York State Class AA semifinal matchup, 8-0, against Union-Endicott last Saturday morning at the Adirondack Sports Complex in Queensbury, but came up short in the final, 5-0, that afternoon against Cicero-North Syracuse.

“We had a great, great run,” Fritz said. “It was wonderful to go upstate and play for the state championship. I can’t say enough about these girls.”

Senior shortstop Danielle Cutuli, a six-year member of the squad, went 2 for 4 with two runs scored in the L.I. championship game, and threw out Longwood’s Alex Russo on a grounder to end it. “It’s amazing,” Cutuli said. “It’s an incredible feeling for all of us. We’re a close-knit team. Tonight we’ll go out to dinner and celebrate.”

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