MacArthur tops Clarke for softball title


Top-seeded MacArthur entered the Nassau Class A softball championship series undefeated and riding a 23-game winning streak including a pair against Clarke, but the Rams won the opener in impressive fashion and put a notch in the Generals’ loss column for the first time since 2022.

However, MacArthur rebounded in a big way behind senior pitcher Taylor Brunn, and after it stayed alive with her Memorial Day shutout secured the county title Tuesday afternoon with a 12-5 win at Mitchel Athletic Complex.

MacArthur, in capturing its first Nassau crown since 2017, trailed in the decisive third game before taking its initial turn at-bat as Clarke senior Olivia Wanser blasted a grand slam over the fence in left in the top of the first. The Generals answered with a four-run first to tie and exploded for five runs in the fourth and added three more in the sixth.

“After we lost the first game, Taylor talked about the possibility of wearing a MacArthur uniform for the last time,” Fehrenbach said of Brunn. “That kind of struck a chord with everyone and they all rallied around each other.

“Clarke came into the finals almost as hot as we were,” he added. “They outplayed us in the first game. Fortunately, it’s a three-game series and takes two to win.”

Senior catcher Sofia Anderson’s three-run double in the bottom of the first tied Game 3 at 4. Senior Hailey Feiler (3-for-4, three RBIs and three runs) had the big hit in the fourth, a two-run double to the gap in right-center that gave MacArthur a 7-5 lead. Brunn allowed only one run on three hits after Wasner’s grand slam.

MacArthur (25-1) faces Bayport-Blue Point in the Long Island Class A championship game Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Farmingdale State College.

In the series opener last Saturday, the second-seeded Rams handed MacArthur its first loss this spring with senior pitcher Emily Brown starring in the circle and with the bat in a 5-1 decision. Her two-run homer in the third and clutch pitching in the fifth and sixth, when the Generals loaded the bases with two outs, was the difference. Junior Madeline Millman reached base three times and scored twice.

MacArthur stayed alive Monday with a 1-0 victory behind a determined Brunn, who struck out 11 and got all the support she needed in the top of the sixth thanks to some heads-up baserunning by junior Nicole Stuckenschneider.

Stuckenschneider led off the inning with a single and moved to second when senior Colette O’Brien reached on an error. After two flyouts to Clarke’s Michelle Diaz in center, junior Savannah Brennan delivered a hard-hit single to left to put the runners in motion.

After rounding third, Stuckenschneider hesitated to continue home and O’Brien was stranded between second and third as a result. As the Rams attempted to cut down O’Brien for the final out of the inning, Stuckenschneider bolted for the plate and beat the throw for what proved to be the game’s lone run.

“We have a lot to be proud of,” said Clarke coach Rachel Barry, a 2008 MacArthur graduate who played four years of varsity softball for Fehrenbach. “At one point during the season we were ninth out of 10 teams in Conference 1,” she added. “The girls never looked back and just kept working.”