Sayville head coach Tiffany Rowan began her day Saturday in church for her daughter’s Christening. Her afternoon was originally going to include a party to celebrate the occasion. The festivities, which were scheduled for the same time as Sayville’s Class A semifinal playoff game against Shoreham-Wading River, went on without her.
The Golden Flashes threw a party of their own at Sayville High School.
Behind junior pitcher Merissa Selts, the second-seeded Golden Flashes won 4-1 to end Shoreham’s season and advance to the county finals against Kings Park beginning Wednesday in a best-of-three series.
Selts did a little of everything for Sayville (16-6). She hit a home run in the first inning and threw a complete game three-hitter with five strikeouts. Selts had good velocity and movement on her curve ball as well a strong change-up.
It was the third meeting between the two teams with each having won once in the regular season by one run.
“In the three times we have played them this year, that was [Selts’] best performance,” said Shoreham coach Ed Price.
The Wildcats finished the season 15-7, their best mark since the late ’90s, Price said.
“We had a great year,” he said.
The No. 3 Wildcats trailed 4-0 going into the sixth before starting to stage a rally. Third baseman Christina Pagano walked with one out before shortstop Cali Lavey (2 for 3) ripped a ball into right center. Pagano raced around the bases trying to score from first, but a perfect relay throw gunned her down at the plate. Pagano tried to slide wide of the catcher and reach back for the plate. The next batter, center fielder Katie Newell, tripled to right center to score Lavey for the Wildcats’ only run.
There were no shortage of plays at the plate. The Wildcats cut down two Sayville runs by throwing runners out at home. And they nearly had a third.
In the fifth inning with the Wildcats trailing 3-0, Sayville first baseman Madelyn Cetrano hit a shallow fly ball to right field that Brittany Mahan charged in to catch. Kathleen Maehr, who had just moved up two bases on balls in the dirt, sprinted down the third base line to tag up and score on a very close play at the plate.
“We got two bad calls at home plate, but instead of 4-1 it would have been 3-2,” Price said.
In the first inning Newell threw out a runner at home trying to tag from third. It was the second outfield assist in as many games for Shoreham’s All-County center fielder.
Selts was the next batter after the out at home and she roped a ball down the left field line. With no fence at Sayville, the ball kept rolling and rolling long enough for Selts to race round the bases.
The Wildcats got a tough break in the fourth inning when the Golden Flashes expanded their lead to 3-0. With two outs and runners on second and third, Kira Karl lofted a ball into shallow right field. Mahan raced to her right and just missed the making the catch that would have ended the inning. The ball hit the tip of her glove as she stretched to make the catch and ball fell in allowing both runners to score. Karl finished 3 for 4 batting in the lead-off spot for Sayville.
Shoreham sophomore Chelsea Hawks took the loss for Shoreham. She gave up eight hits and struck out two.
“It’s a shame that somebody has to lose games like this,” Price said. “Unfortunately today we weren’t the better team.”