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Thursday, May 26, 2016
Repeat title for East Meadow
Lady Jets outlast Oceanside
Ron Manfredi/Herald
East Meadow's Claire Travis drops down a bunt during Game 2 of the Nassau Class AA championship series on May 20.

A repeat title in any sport at any level is as difficult a team challenge as there is, and even though defending Nassau County Class AA softball champion East Meadow cruised through the regular season and its first two playoff hurdles the final step against Oceanside was easier said than done.

After rallying from three runs down to take the opening game of the best-of-three championship series in walk-off fashion at Mitchel Athletic Complex, 5-4, on May 19, on senior Tianna LaRosa’s single, the top-seeded Lady Jets claimed their second consecutive crown the following afternoon with a 6-2 victory. The third-seeded Lady Sailors brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning, but East Meadow senior pitcher Kerri Shapiro got a fielder’s choice groundout to end it.

“Winning back-to-back championships is a tough thing,” East Meadow coach Stew Fritz said. “We realized very early in the season everyone was coming after us. Oceanside is well-coached and played a tremendous two games in this series.

“We dealt with some key injuries along the way, but our talent and depth got us through,” Fritz added. “We have 16 good players, and they’re hungry. They want more.”

The Lady Jets (18-2) will aim to repeat as Long Island Class AA champs on June 6 at Mitchel against a yet-to-be determined opponent from Suffolk County. Oceanside, which was blanked twice in the regular season by East Meadow, finished 14-10.


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