East Meadow had no problem getting runners on base against Bay Shore in Tuesday’s Long Island Class AA softball championship game. Driving them home, however, was a different story.
Bay Shore pitcher Liz Weber stranded six Lady Jets in scoring position and got all the run support she needed when Giana Panariello singled in Cat Franzone in the fifth inning for a 1-0 victory before a crowd of 500 at Mitchel Athletic Complex.
It’s the 10th L.I. title for the Lady Marauders, who managed four hits off East Meadow pitcher Lindsay McKillop and advanced to the state Final Four on Saturday at Waterloo High School.
“We have no regrets,” McKillop said. “We had an amazing year, and the difference today was one timely hit. My arm felt great. I just wish I could’ve gotten a hit. A few times I flew out to left with someone on third base.”
Playing for the first time since completing a two-game sweep of Carey to win their first Nassau County title in 16 years on May 25, the Lady Jets (18-2) showed no signs of rust. They smacked leadoff singles in each of the first four innings and five in the game, while McKillop retired the first 10 batters she faced.
“We did everything but score,” East Meadow coach Cindy McCarthy said. “We were well-rested and played great. Our defense was great and we hit the ball. We just couldn’t get that one big hit we needed.”
Bay Shore (25-1) eventually did. Franzone doubled to lead off the bottom of the fifth and was on third with two outs when Panariello lined a single to center.
“They were very aggressive at bat and put the bat on the ball against one of the most dominant pitchers on Long Island,” Lady Marauders coach Jim McGowan said. “It was a tough game. I coach Lindsay in club ball, and I knew we had our work cut out for us.”
Jamie Laird went 2-for-3 and Rachel Sidney, Hillary Hoffman and Christine Backer each had a hit for East Meadow, which suffered its only other loss April 28 at Long Beach.