June 07, 2006
Willa Johann Leads East Hampton On, Off The Field
In a season that has seen many spectacular efforts from its players, the East Hampton softball team has one player that has provided veteran leadership along with a sense of stability needed for a team in order to conquer difficult obstacles on its way to greatness. That player is Willa Johann.
"She's just a special kid who leads the team on and off the field," says head coach Lou Reale. "Willa's really a great kid who everyone on our team can look up to. Not only is she an exceptional athlete, she's also an exceptional student, a great role model and most importantly, a great person."
Willa delivered both the tying and game-winning hits last Wednesday as the Lady Bonackers defeated Islip 5-1 in eight innings to grab the Suffolk County Class A championship (SEE STORY). Her RBI triple in the top of the eighth snapped a 1-1 tie as the hit nearly reached the fence at Deer Park's Flynn Field, allowing Caity O'Brien to race home uncontested to score the game-winning run. Islip led 1-0 after three innings.
"It was early in the game, so we weren't fazed at all," Johann said. "It was such a great game and we all came out and hit in the eighth inning. It was a really great feeling."
East Hampton (23-2 overall) advanced to play Nassau County Class C champion Floral Park for the rights to be called Long Island champion. The winner of that game, which was scheduled to be played yesterday in Uniondale, would then advance to the state Final Four in Syracuse this weekend.
"Coming back this year and winning it [the county title] after losing in the championship game last season is just awesome," said Johann. "We're were kind of at the height of confidence right now because we want to go to the states. It's spectacular. It's been such a memorable experience."