In nearly 20 years of coaching high school softball at the varsity level, Demetri Adrahtas never experienced the thrill of victory quite like he did April 10 when Valley Stream South dug out of a four-run hole in extra innings to stun Cold Spring Harbor, 7-6.
The Lady Falcons got a pinch-hit, two-run single with one out in the bottom of the eight to get within a run and then managed the tying and winning hits with
two outs off the bats of their two youngest players.
“It was wild,” Adrahtas said. “We’ve got a pretty upbeat group of girls and the disappointment of falling behind 6-2 in the top of the eighth went away quickly.
“We had quality at-bats all day,” he added. “We just didn’t string a whole lot together until the end.”
Cold Spring Harbor took a 3-2 lead on a wild pitch and extended the cushion to 6-2 on a three-run homer off the bat of Mackenzie Murray, who also went deep in the top of the first for a 2-0 advantage that held up until the fifth.
South sophomore All-County pitcher Isabella Secaira-Cotto, who struck out 18, tripled to open the bottom of the eighth to ignite the rally. She scored on senior Alexis Olson’s RBI single. It was 6-3 with one out and runners on second and third when Adrahtas called upon junior Natalia Bayer to grab a bat and pinch hit. The moved paid off with a two-run single, cutting the margin to one. Senior Jhanel Venturina followed with a single and was on second base with two outs when eighth-grade shortstop Ysabela Quinones came through with a game-tying single. Seventh-grade catcher Trinity Smiley ended it, knocking in sophomore pinch-runner Kayla Espinal.
“To see two young kids come through in such a pressure situation was pretty cool,” Adrahtas said. “That was big.”
The Lady Falcons (4-0 in conference games, 7-0 overall) carried their momentum over to the next afternoon, defeating North Shore on the road, 4-1, for their third victory in as many days. Secaira-Cotto struck out 13 and got all the offensive support she needed from sophomore Isabella Grasso, who went 2-for-2 with three RBIs.
“Isabella was throwing just as hard or harder than the day before,” Adrahtas said of Secaira-Cotto, who opened the week with 16 Ks in a 6-1 home win over West Hempstead. “You don’t want to have many instances where you’re playing three days in a row, but it was impossible to avoid with the weather we’ve had.
“Athletically, Isabella is coming into her own,” he added. “She’s put on more muscle and increased her fitness level, which is part of growing up. She’s already being recruited by Division I colleges.”
The win at North Shore was the first of six crossover games against Conference ABC-V opponents. The Lady Falcons compete in ABC-VI. “The girls were psyched about beating a team from a higher conference,” Adrahtas explained. “They passed the first test.”