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Oceanside splits busy week

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Playing for the third time in four days and fourth time in less than a week, Oceanside secured a much-needed softball victory last Saturday afternoon, 12-5, at Syosset in a Conference AA-I/II crossover game.

Sophomore Courtney Murphy went 3-for-4 from the leadoff spot and freshman Samantha Reyer also had three hits as the Lady Sailors (6-6 overall) erased an early two-run deficit to snap a two-game slide and moved back over .500 in conference play at 4-3. Junior center fielder Catherine Stanford (team-leading .455 average) drove in three runs, upping her team-leading RBI total on the season to 10.

“It was good to get back on track,” coach Carlo Quagliata said. “This was supposed to be a week where we established ourselves, but instead of winning three or all four we had to settle for 2-2. Now our focus quickly shifts to Massapequa. It’s a big one for both teams.”

A day after allowing six runs in the first inning at home against Long Beach and never recovering in an 11-5 defeat, Oceanside gave up two runs in the bottom of the first at Syosset and another in the second to trail 3-1. But the offense responded with a run in the top of the third and two more in the fourth to produce a 4-3 lead. The Lady Sailors then broke the game open with a six-run outburst in the sixth. Junior Catie Henn had two key hits and junior catcher Elena Rubino raised her average to .405.

“We came into the Syosset game licking our wounds a little bit,” Quagliata said. “We started a little slow, but then we got the bats going. I think it’ll bring everyone’s confidence up. We’re right in the middle of the pack and everyone’s chasing East Meadow.”

Oceanside blanked Massapequa in the first meeting, 1-0, behind the arm of junior Hallie Neufeld and junior Emily Seaver’s RBI single bringing home junior Ariana Elbaz in the top of the third on April 1. Neufeld scattered five hits and got stellar defensive support from Henn (eight putouts) at third base.

Uncharacteristically, the defense led the Lady Sailors down April 10 at Farmingdale. Riding a three-game winning streak that included double-digit wins over Baldwin and Port Washington, Oceanside, which had 15 hits, failed to protect a four-run lead in the sixth inning. Three errors led to five Farmingdale runs and an 8-7 defeat. Christina Hassett had a game-tying double for the Lady Dalers.

“I’m still in a little shock over how we let that game get away,” Quagliata said. “Everything fell apart in one inning. Our defense was solid up until then. We put the tying run on second in the seventh but couldn’t bring it home.”

Last Friday, Long Beach put the Lady Sailors in a 9-0 hole through three-and-a-half innings and never looked back. The Lady Marines sent 12 batters to the plate in the top of the first and half of them scored. Winning pitcher Alex Hastings singled twice in the inning.