June 07, 2006
Icing On The Cake: East Hampton Wins Small Schools Title
If winning the Suffolk County Class A title wasn't enough, the East Hampton varsity softball team applied some icing to a very tasty championship run on Thursday by crushing Suffolk Class B/C champion Babylon 13-1 to capture the Suffolk Small Schools title in a game held at Center Moriches High School. The Lady Panthers are 19-6 overall.
Two days earlier, the Lady Bonackers defeated Islip 5-1 to win the county championship (SEE STORY ABOVE), led by sophomore pitcher Jessie Stavola and clutch hitting from several of their players, including senior Willa Johan.
On Thursday, Johan delivered in the clutch once again, belting a mammoth three-run home run in the third inning as East Hampton pulled ahead 5-0 in a game that it dominated from start to finish. Caity O'Brien (two hits) had singled home the first run of the game and her sister Deven O'Brien (2-for-3, 2 RBI) bashed a triple to the outfield to drive her home with what would later turn out to be the game-winning run.
"It was really great to come out hitting the way that we did," said Johan. "We were aggressive and we were ready to strike fast. This whole thing has been such a memorable experience for all of us; we just want to keep it going. This has been so fantastic."
Incredibly, nine of the Lady Bonackers 14 hits in the game went for extra bases as Nicole Fierro hit a triple and later scored on Marta Johan's sac fly to centerfield in the third inning. East Hampton (23-2 overall) tacked on five runs in the fifth, highlighted by Stavola lining a two-run double to the outfield gap. Two more Lady Bonackers runs crossed the plate in the sixth.
Stavola had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning before allowing a single with one out. She then was removed from the game, after striking out five and walking one. Her most important stat was the 31 scoreless innings that she threw in East Hampton's four postseason games without allowing an earned run.
"Jessie showed all heart once again and she was exhausted going into the game," said head coach Lou Reale. "After our previous game, it was nice to get everyone into the game and we hit the ball pretty good."
Willa Johan added, "Winning the counties was huge for us. Now we know that we can win the Long Island championship. We want to go to the states…we want to win this really bad. The whole team is raring to go."