The New Hyde Park All-Stars softball team won the District 29 championship for the first time in five years on June 27, beating Franklin Square 12-6 at Mineola High School.
The 11- and 12-year old girls moved onto the sectional championship last Thursday, where they lost 12-2 to the Long Beach team, who had won the District 30 championship.
But the New Hyde Park All-Stars are set for a chance at redemption on Wednesday, when they will play the Long Beach team again at Rath Park at 7:45 p.m.
If the All-Stars win three more games in the sectional tournament, they move on to regional tournament, then to the New York State tournament. A win there would take them to the World Series tournament in Oregon.
The last time the team made it that far was five years ago, and the the current All-Stars hope to follow in their predecessors’ footsteps.
“I told my girls if we go to Oregon, I’m taking them to Disney World,” George Hopkins, one of the coaches, said.
Franklin Square has been the New Hyde Park All-Stars’ district rivals. The two teams have met in the district finals in previous years, and to finally defeat Franklin Square was a big deal to the New Hyde Park team.
“It was exciting for us to beat Franklin Square because it always seems to be New Hyde Park against Franklin Square,” Hopkins said.
The New Hyde Park team’s offense and defense both came through during the district championship game, with the batters scoring seven runs in the second inning.
After that, the Franklin Square team fought back, scoring two runs in the third and fifth innings respectively and another run in the sixth.
“Franklin Square is a very good team. They didn’t give up, they kept coming back and getting scores,” said Dan Krupa, the manager of the New Hyde Park All-Stars. “So our defense, really buckled down and played well; We had a lot of really nice plays in the field for defense.”
The “defensive gems” of the game were Adrianne Matthews, the second baseman, and Kaitlyn Albreksen, the center fielder, Hopkins said.
The offense also helped solidify the game by adding runs in every inning after their big seven-run second inning.
“That game it was our offense, everybody hit and ran the bases really well,” Hopkins said.