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Shapiro's Arm Leads Lady Jets to County Finals

The senior pitcher allowed just two hits in East Meadow's semifinal victory.

Kerri Shapiro is peaking at just the right time, at least according to her coach.

Shapiro, combined with a couple of timely East Meadow hits, was able to thwart Massapequa on Thursday, leading to a 2-0 East Meadow in at the Mitchell Athletic Complex.

On the mound, Shapiro got the momentum heading in East Meadow's favor early, as she threw the ball by the Chiefs' bats with ease. In fact, she struck out the first four Massapequa players to face her.

"She was excellent today," East Meadow Coach Stewart Fritz said. "She really took her game to another level."

The Jets got Shapiro the lead after two were out in the bottom of the first. Madison West drew a walk, and then Shapiro singled. Dina Larosa came up with a big two out hit to score West with what would be the game-winning run.

"Walks will kill you," Massapequa Coach Steve Donovan said. "We gave them an extra chance, and they burned us."

While Shapiro was continuing her masterpiece, Renee' Viano was not far behind for Massapequa. In fact, she struck out 10 batters and scattered seven hits through her complete-game effort, and she managed to stop the Jets from adding to their lead until the home sixth.

After Taylor Conti doubled, Clarke Travis bunted her over to third with two outs. Emma McKillop came up with yet another two-out knock for East Meadow, which increased their lead to 2-0.

"Adding that run was huge for us," Shapiro said. "We came up with the two-out hits today."

Massapequa didn't go down without a fight, as the tying runs were aboard in the seventh with two out, but Shapiro got Elizabeth Doherty to ground out to first base to send East Meadow to the Nassau County finals against MacArthur.

"We've played them before, and we know their strengths and weaknesses," Shapiro said. "It should be a fun couple of games."

The best-of-three series begins Monday at 4 p.m. at the Mitchell Athletic Complex, with games two and three (if necessary) taking place on Tuesday and Thursday at the same place. In the two previous match-ups earlier this year, MacArthur beat East Meadow 10-8 and 3-1.

"We're very excited," Fritz said. "It will be great."

Teams 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E Massapequa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 East Meadow 1 0 0 0 0 1 X 2 7 0

WP: Kerri Shapiro, LP: Renee' Viano, RBI: Dina Larosa, Emma McKillop

Do you think East Meadow will beat MacArthur in the conference finals? Tell us in the comments.

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