In a rematch of last year’s Nassau Class AA softball championship series, MacArthur overcame the loss of two starting outfielders as well as a five-run deficit to beat East Meadow, 7-6, in a Conference AA-I game last Saturday.
With the Lady Generals down to their final out, Kristin Daly tripled home the tying run and then scored the winner on Jen Masessa’s line-drive single off the leg of Lady Jets pitcher Sandra Foster. MacArthur trailed by three runs entering the bottom of the seventh, but Jena Cozza’s two-run homer over the fence in left-center earlier in the inning brought the defending county champions within one.
“We had plenty of chances to build a bigger lead, but at the same time we’ve got to give credit to MacArthur,” East Meadow coach Stew Fritz said. “I thought when we scored once in the top of the seventh it was big, but turns out it wasn’t enough. They hit the ball hard in the last inning.”
It was the second straight one-run setback for the Lady Jets (5-2), who posted four consecutive shutout victories between April 5-15 behind the arm of Kerri Shapiro. “In this conference, anyone can beat anyone,” Fritz said. “Every team is so talented.”
Last Saturday’s game was moved from MacArthur to East Meadow due to unplayable field conditions, but the Lady Jets were still considered the road team and came out swinging in the top of the first against winning pitcher Ashley Massoni. With two outs and Danielle Cutuli (3-for-4) on second base, Dina LaRosa smacked a two-run homer to get the offensive fireworks started.
The lead was 5-0 after two innings. Ariel Cornfield cracked a homer with one out, and the next two runs came across with two outs. Claire Travis walked, and Marisa San Antonio reached on an error. Cutuli followed with a single to score Travis, and Shapiro capped the outburst with a single to score San Antonio.
MacArthur got on the board with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third and faced a new pitcher in the fourth when a less-than-100 percent Shapiro was replaced by Foster. The Lady Generals were retired in order by Foster in the fourth, managed just a single in the fifth, and scored an unearned run in the sixth to make it 5-3. In the top of the fifth, they lost starters Kristen Kelley and Nicolette Moustouka after a nasty collision in the outfield. “We hope they’re OK,” MacArthur coach Bob Fehrenbach said. “There’s a chance both will miss the rest of the season.”
In the top of the seventh, East Meadow had two outs and nobody on when Cornfield singled. Taylor Conti, who had a tremendous defensive game at third base, followed with a slow infield roller that led to a run when an errant throw to get her trickled into rightfield and allowed Cornfield to score. “I felt pretty good at that point,” Fritz said.
But MacArthur took advantage of two walks in the seventh —Chrissy Gay and Kristen Arbiter both came around to score — and like last spring got big hits under pressure.