The East Meadow Softball team got the best of Mepham on Monday afternoon to move onto the Class AA semifinals with a 3-1 victory.
The fourth-seeded Jets (9-6) pushed past the fifth-seeded Pirates (12-7) by way of a bases clearing double by Becky Syers in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Kerri Shapiro picked up the win for East Meadow with 12 strikeouts and just two hits given up. Toni Marie Valeriano allowed seven hits while striking out four batters for Mepham.
The two sides struggled to put runs up the board for much of the game. Mepham’s Casey Thomas reached third base in the fifth inning but the Pirates couldn’t produce a run. In the next inning, East Meadow's Nikki Giocastro turned an unassisted double play to end the inning with a scoreless tie in tact.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, East Meadow loaded up the bases after a hit by Jamie Laird, a walk and a hit by pitch to set up the big moment for Syers. The junior Syers stepped up to hit a three-run double to deep left field.
In the top of the seventh, Mepham loaded up the bases after a single by Shannon McLean and walks to Valeriano and Thomas. A third consecutive walk drawn by Alexis Ferrero allowed Mepham to score their first run. Shapiro ended all of the drama by recording three consecutive outs, including two strikeouts to strand three runners and allow East Meadow to move on into the next round.
Heroes: Becky Syers provided the one big hit East Meadow was looking for on a relatively quiet offensive day for both sides.
“I felt like I had to give it my all and take whatever good pitch I could,” Syers said. “Everyone put a part in to help us win.”
Turning Point: The hit by Syers was the lone hit that produced runs for either team. Despite Mepham pushing for a comeback in the seventh, the big double in the sixth was the difference.
Quotable: “We saw the ball well and Becky [Syers] was taking good cuts all game. It is always nice as a coach to see that,” East Meadow head coach Cindy McCarthy said. “Kerri [Shapiro] did a great job in hitting her spots throughout the game. In the end, she didn’t give up, came up and got us out of the jam.”
“We had our chances but just didn’t get a hit when we really needed it,” Mepham head coach Mike Muscara said. “We had a good year. This game was anybody’s game and whoever got the big hit won.”
Bottom Line: The win was the second time in three chances that East Meadow got the best of Mepham. East Meadow avenged a 10-2 loss to this same team just two weeks ago and will now move on to play MacArthur in the next round.
Key Stat: East Meadow pitcher Kerri Shapiro recorded 12 strikeouts in the big win.
Who’s Next: East Meadow vs. MacArthur, May 19, 4 p.m. @ Mitchell Athletic Complex
Box Score:Team Record 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E #5 Mepham (12-7) 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 #4 East Meadow (9-6) 0 0 0 0 0 3 - 3 7 0
WP: K.Shapiro (EM)
LP: T.Valeriano (M)