Mepham nipped for L.I. crown

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A historic softball season for Mepham ended in heartbreaking fashion last Friday afternoon when Sayville rallied with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out a 5-4 victory in the Long Island Class A championship game at Eastport Athletic Complex in Manorville.

Angie Capuano’s chopper over third base drove in Elizabeth Yoskowitz with one out, giving the Golden Flashes a walk-off win before a crowd of more than 500. Yoskowitz, who went 3-for-4, singled in pinch-runner Amanda Acker with the tying run.

Sayville (24-1) advances to play the winner of Jamesville-DeWitt/Ballstop Spa in a Class A state semifinal this Saturday at 9 a.m. at Moreau Recreational Park in South Glens Falls. Mepham (21-3), which a week earlier captured its first-ever Nassau County title, trailed 2-0 after five innings before rallying to take leads of 3-2 and 4-3.

“We fought hard,” Lady Pirates coach Brenda Dolan said. “Of course we wish it would’ve turned out differently. Sayville was just one run better than us. You can’t take anything away from great players.”

Mepham fell behind 2-0 in the bottom of the second when Sayville used three singles and a sac bunt to get on the board. Brooke Schibe had a leadoff single and Kylie Buck also singled. The two advanced to second and third, respectively, following a well-placed bunt by Julia Kaczmarek. Catcher Sarah Blaskiewitz followed with a two-run single for the Suffolk representatives.

The score held until the sixth. Sayville pitcher Maddie Recker, a lefty, blanked the Lady Pirates through five innings on five hits. She worked out of a jam in the fourth after Mepham freshman Alanna Morse barely missed clearing the fence in right-center for what would have been a game-tying two run homer. Instead, with runners on second and third and one out, Recker recorded back-to-back strikeouts.

However, in the top of the sixth, with a new pitcher in the circle, Sayville’s lead quickly disappeared. Junior Jenna Giliberti drew a leadoff walk, junior Brianna Morse singled and Alanna Morse walked, bringing up hot-hitting freshman Gianna LaSpina, who promptly hit a bases-clearing double for a 3-2 lead.

“Gianna had a good season, but her postseason was incredible,” Dolan said. “She batted like .750.”

Kaczmarek had a single to drive in Capuano to make it 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Giliberti answered with an RBI single to give the Lady Pirates a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh.

“I think more than anything else, the girls enjoyed each other’s company so much they just wanted to keep playing,” Dolan said. “We’re losing four important seniors but we’re hoping to get back to this stage next season.”