It’s been said that one cannot plan for the unexpected. Well, not a soul saw this one coming; not a teammate, not an opponent, none of the coaches, and nobody in the crowd of nearly 600 at Mitchel Field. Only Sayville sophomore Katie Wallace knew what was to come on the tenth pitch of her at-bat.
With two outs, runners on the corners, and a count of 3-and-2, Wallace, who mistakenly thought she received the bunt sign, laid down a perfect bunt that led to both the tying and winning runs scoring as Sayville beat the Seahawks 5-4 in the Long Island title game. It was Wallace’s first bunt of her varsity career.
Sayville (21-3), which won its third consecutive Long Island championship, advanced to the state semifinals where it will meet Pearl River. Carey finished at 21-3.
While disappointed with the outcome, head coach Anthony Turco had nothing but praise for both teams. “They executed in big spots, so I give them all the credit,” Turco said. “It was a hard-fought softball game. There’s nothing I can tell the girls that will make them feel better, but I couldn’t be prouder of what they accomplished. They made so many people proud. They brought a whole community together for a girls’ softball game. That says a lot about them.”
Carey got on the board first when Rebecca Vilchez crushed a home run well beyond the fence in center in the top of the second inning. The Golden Flashes answered in the bottom of the inning when Sabrina Bencivenga hit ground rule double to center to knock in a pair of runs to give Sayville a 2-1 lead.
It appeared that Carey would squander an opportunity in the top of the fourth, but when the dust settled after some indecision by the umpiring crew, pitcher Jenna Turato lined a clutch single up the middle to score a pair of runs. The Lady Seahawks added a run in the top of the fifth, and took a 4-2 lead into the bottom the sixth.
After Sayville inched closer on a one-out RBI single by winning pitcher Allie Petillo, Carey third baseman Alyssa Jacobs made a nice play to track down a bloop for the second out, setting the stage for an epic battle between Turato and Wallace.