With its full roster unavailable for the fifth time in seven games, Long Beach had a scrappy effort last Saturday fall just short of producing a victory at Carey as the Seahawks rallied for a 6-5 decision in Nassau Conference II softball.
Junior center fielder Hailey Cardiello went 3-for-4 and upped her batting average on the season to a team-leading .381 for the Marines, who led by a run until Carey scored three times in the bottom of the fourth inning. Long Beach scored once in the seventh and had the tying run on base when the final out was recorded, dropping it to 1-6.
“Our pitchers are doing their jobs,” Long Beach coach Carmine Verde said of the tandem of senior Charli Quigley and freshman Bella Gray. “We need to be better defensively behind them and we also need to get some clutch hits.”
Quigley, a captain who last season earned Honorable Mention All-County as the starter at third base, is contributing in the circle for the first time and guards the hot corner when Gray does the throwing. Quigley (.300) is also one of Long Beach’s better hitters, Verde said, and occupies the No. 2 or 3 spot in the order. Gray was the JV starter last spring and plays second base when Quigley pitches.
“Charli and Bella both have three pitches they mix up pretty well,” Verde said. “We played our best defensive game of the season so far when Bella pitched against Plainedge, and we won.”
Gray and Quigley each had two hits and Cardiello, an All-Conference selection last season, scored twice in the 5-3 victory over Plainedge on March 29. The Marines have dropped five straight since and will try to get back in the win column this week with Bethpage, Island Trees and Wantagh on the docket.
Senior shortstop Gabby Gelish, a captain along with Quigley and senior outfielder Kayla Sarafin, who is dealing with an injury, has moved into the leadoff spot as Verde looks to spark the offense. “Gabby has a good idea of the strike zone and came on strong at the plate late last year,” Verde said.
Freshman catcher Jorjia Domingo is the clean-up hitter and tremendous defensively, the coach said. “She’s great at blocking pitches in the dirt and has a strong arm,” Verde said. Domingo was All-Conference as an eighth-grader and picking up where she left off, hitting .318 with four RBIs through seven games.
The rest of the infield features additional youth. Sophomore Andi Spiteri plays second base when Gray pitches and has been picking up some hits in the lower part of the lineup. Another sophomore, Myla Sanchez, is flashing a nice glove at first base after getting a taste of varsity softball a year ago. Freshman Gianna Hidalgo gets the call at third base when Quigley pitches.
Junior Emmalee Egan is batting fifth and playing left field, while junior Franki Kelleher, a returning starter, and freshman Julia DiGiorgio are seeing work in right.