The fourth-seeded Malverne Lady Mules defeated top seed Wheatley Lady Wildcats 8-7 in Game 2 of the Nassau Class B Softball semifinals on Tuesday afternoon, led by Olivia Quaranto’s walk off double.
Quaranto went 3 for 5 with two runs batted in while Alex Delligatti went 4 for 5 with three singles, three runs scored and a run batted in for Malverne in a back and forth game.
Christina Sangeniti went 2 for 4 with two singles and three runs batted in for Malverne. Sangeniti pitched a complete game and allowed four earned runs.
Alyssa Belle, Cecilia Jozef and Joanna Signorile each led Wheatley with two runs batted in.
Samantha Hurtado and Emily Schiesser each went 3 for 4 with three singles while Nicole Hetzel went 2 for 4 with a single, a double and two runs scored for Wheatley.
Wheatley starting pitcher Jenna Fey threw five innings, allowed five runs and two walks while striking out eight.
After winning Game 1 16-4, Wheatley head coach Christina Cambria said clinching Game 2 on the road wasn’t gonna be easy.
“This was a game that I knew they were gonna come out ready to play,” Cambria said. “Even though we had a good game the day before, I knew that we weren’t gonna be able to come here and take a win without them giving us a fight. They certainly did and they earned it.”
In the top of the first inning, Wheatley quickly took a 1-0 lead as they capitalized on a throwing error.
With Hurtado on second, Belle laid down a sacrifice bunt and an errant throw to first base allowed a run to score.
In the bottom of the first inning, Malverne evened up the score with two on and two outs for Sangeniti.
Sangeniti’s single to left scored Delligatti to tie the game at one.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Malverne jumped out to a 5-1 lead, as Sangeniti’s two run single highlighted the frame.
In the top of the sixth inning, Wheatley answered back with six runs.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Signorile delivered a pinch hit two run single to cut the lead to two.
Jayda Rubino grounded into an RBI force out to trim Wheatley’s deficit to one.
Three batters later, Belle’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded scored Rubino to tied the game at five.
Jozef gave Wheatley a 7-5 lead with a two run go-ahead single to left.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Malverne responded with two runs on RBI groundouts from Olivia St. John and Quaranto to tie the game at seven.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Malverne had runners on second and third with one out and a chance to even the series at one game apiece.
Rubino, who came into relief in the sixth inning, got Gabby Mongioudis to strike out and Micaela Fibleuil to pop up to Belle to force extra innings.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Quaranto hit a walk-off double to left to score St. John as Malverne went on to win 8-7 to force a decisive Game 3.
Hurtado said it will take a lot of heart and energy to win this series.
“Malverne had an incredible amount of energy in this game,” Hurtado said. “We just have to learn from this game and bring it to the next game.”