MacArthur’s late season momentum carried into last Saturday’s Nassau Class A softball quarterfinal round playoff game against Kennedy.
The second-seeded Lady Generals (18-3) stormed out of the gate for seven runs in the first inning en route to a 12-0 win before the home fans. MacArthur’s sixth win in a row and 12th triumph in 13 games set up a semifinal series against crosstown rival Division this week.
“We put the ball in play and found the right spots,” MacArthur coach Bobby Fehrenbach said of his team’s fast start. “Its always comforting when you can build an early lead like that.”
The explosive first inning began with back-to-back doubles from Victoria Agnoli and Kayla Myles. Successive RBI singles from Jessica Mauro and Taylor Brunn gave MacArthur a 4-0 lead. Chiara Nappo extended the lead a batter later with a sacrifice fly and Jordyn Roth capped the rally with a run-scoring double to make it 6-0.
The first inning was the start of big days for Mauro and Agnoli, who each went 3-for-3. Mauro also shined on the mound keeping the Kennedy bats at bay with a one-hitter and eight strikeouts in her second consecutive shutout two days after a 9-0 first round win against West Hempstead in which she struck out 17.
“She is getting better and better,” said Fehrenbach of his freshman ace, who recorded 18 strikeouts in a 7-0 win against East Rockaway on May 8. “She is very mature for a ninth grader and doesn’t let things rattle her.”
Kennedy, which captured the league title in Conference AB-II with an 11-5 record, entered the game riding high after a 13-1 first-round victory against Plainedge in which eighth-grade ace Sami Levine tossed a four-hitter. The Lady Cougar bats also came through in jumping out to an 8-0 lead with Morgan Tesser, Jen Field and Paige Lipman all going 2-for-2. Lara Indich also had strong game with an RBI and stolen base.
“Saturday’s game doesn’t define our season and we accomplished a lot,” Thorn said. “A lot of people doubted we were going to go this far.”
MacArthur kicked off its best-of-three semifinal series with third-seeded Division Monday and a deciding game if necessary is slated for Thursday at home. The Lady Generals are looking to march on to the Class A finals scheduled to start May 28 at Hofstra’s Bill Edwards Stadium.
The Lady Generals are on the doorstep of playing for their second county title in three years despite graduating six starters off last year’s team that fell to Mepham in the semifinals after a 20-1 regular season. Four starters remain from the 2017 team that reached the state championship which coupled with emerging underclassmen has set up another deep postseason run.
“I knew we were going to be good this season and it was just a matter of jelling,” Fehrenbach said. “They believe in themselves and believe in each other.”