Those who were looking for a close battle were not disappointed Wednesday, as the MacArthur Lady Generals edged out the East Meadow Jets 2-1 at the Mitchel Athletic Complex.
Kristen Brown was dominant for MacArthur, as East Meadow struggled to muster any kind of consistent attack. She allowed just four hits in the complete game effort, and she tallied six strikeouts as well.
“It was some pitching duel,” MacArthur Coach Bob Fehrenbach said. “Both of the girls laid it all on the line.”
Kerri Shapiro held her own as well for the Jets, as she battled through six innings for East Meadow. She scattered six hits against MacArthur, but she was able to get the big outs throughout the game and strand 11 Lady Generals on base.
“She made some big pitches,” East Meadow Coach Stewart Fritz said. “We just didn’t hit enough.”
MacArthur got on the board in the bottom of the second, as Brown helped her own cause by driving in a run on a fielder’s choice. The Lady Generals added an insurance, and eventually game-winning run, in the third when Kristin Daly singled in a run of her own.
The Jets responded by getting a run of their own in the top half of the fourth inning. Shapiro notched a one-out triple, and she scored on a Madison West sacrifice fly. That was the last time East Meadow got a base runner past first base.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Emma McKillop singled for East Meadow to get the tying run aboard, but Taylor Conti popped up to second to end the game.
“We knew it was going to be a heck of a game,” Fehrenbach said. “We expect more of the same tomorrow.”
With the win, MacArthur is just one game away from a Nassau County AA Championship, and for Brown, who has been in the title series before and lost, it would mean everything.
“I couldn’t even describe the feeling,” Brown said. “We’ve worked so hard, and we deserve it.”
For East Meadow, the girls will look to stave off elimination on Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Mitchel Athletic Complex. If they win, the decisive game three will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m.
“We need to be move aggressive,” Fritz said. “But we still believe that we can win.”
Vito Romano contributed photos to this report.