Long Beach in unfamiliar territory


After more than two decades of competing in Nassau County’s highest softball level and five years in Conference 2, Long Beach is doing battle in Conference 3 this spring and jumped out to a positive start.
The Marines edged Island Trees, 3-2, then scored two touchdowns and a field goal in a 17-10 victory at Baldwin. The pair of March victories brought them within one win of matching their 2023 total.
Thirty-sixth year Long Beach coach Carmine Verde is looking for the early confidence to go a long way. “We need to finish .500 to make the playoffs and if we stay healthy, we should,” he said.
However, one potential key injury looms. Sophomore starting catcher Jorgia Domingo could miss a significant amount of time with an ankle injury. Last spring she earned All-Conference honors thanks to outstanding defense and a couple of homers and 9 RBIs.
“Jorgia controls the game when we’re in the field,” Verde said of Domingo, who also bats clean-up. “We have a good rapport with the pitches I’m calling and teams are reluctant to run against her. It’s a huge loss if we have to go any length of time without her.”

Sophomore pitcher Bella Gray earned all three of the team’s wins last season when she was part of a rotation. Now she’s the clear-cut starter and opened the campaign with an impressive 10-strikeout performance March 26 against Island Trees, which managed just four hits. She also began the season at the top of the batting order.
“Bella has strong mechanics and very good command,” Verde said. “She has three pitches she throws for strikes.”
Senior center fielder Hailey Cardiello is Long Beach’s other returning award winner. She was All-County last season after batting .392 with 14 RBIs whilst anchoring the outfield defense. She went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and scored three times in the March 30 win at Baldwin.
“Some of the things that stand out about Hailey is she has excellent at-bats and is a great fielder,” Verde said of Cardiello, who is flanked in the outfield by senior Emmalee Eagan, the backup pitcher, in left and senior Frankie Kelleher, who could catch along with junior Ariana Jara, in right. “She’s very hard to strike out and is smart on the bases.”
Eagan is a returning starter who batted .277 in 2023 and early signs are pointing towards a rise in production. She had three hits and knocked in three runs in the win over Baldwin and spelled Gray for four innings in a non-conference loss to MacArthur April 1. Kelleher, who helped lead Long Beach’s volleyball team to a state title, has one of the strongest arms on the team.
Junior Myla Sanchez returned at first base and blasted a three-run homer against Baldwin as part of a 4-RBI day. She also looks more polished in the field, Verde said. “She’s shown big improvement,” he noted.
Junior Andie Spiteri (second base) and freshman Emily Adler (shortstop) comprise the middle infield. Spiteri is a contact hitter who’ll help manufacture runs. Eighth-grader Sydney Olivo is a quality slap hitter with versatility.