Bill Dumont knew the situation would eventually find his James Madison softball team against Tottenville.
“What separates their lineup is [Ashley] Corrao and [Jeanine] Leo,” the coach said. “There is no way to escape them.”
Corrao had already hurt the Pirates by blasting a pitch from ace Kayla Hill 200 feet over the wall in left center to cut the Knights’ lead to one in the bottom of the fourth. If Madison was going to dethrone the champs it was going to have to go back through their fourth and fifth hitters one more time in the bottom of the sixth.
“We get those two batters out or one of them out, we win the game,” Dumont said.
Unfortunately for Madison, it retired neither.
Corrao, the 2009 PSAL Heisman Wingate Award winner, crushed the first pitch she saw for an RBI double to the gap in left center and Leo followed by bringing her home with a run−scoring double down the left−field line. No. 1 Tottenville added another run in the inning and held off a potential seventh−inning rally to beat No. 2 Madison, 4−2, in the PSAL Class A softball final last Saturday at St. John’s University. The title is a record sixth straight for the Pirates, who have not lost since a playoff defeat to McKee⁄Staten Island Tech in 2006.
“I thought we were in it the whole entire time, up until the last out,” freshman shortstop Gina Gerone said. “We were in it the whole entire time and never gave up. “
It was Gerone that gave Madison (21−1) the lead in the top of the fourth. She doubled to the gap in left−center field off Tottenville ace Alyssa Corvino, who allowed two runs on five hits and struck out nine. The second run came home when Corvino was called for an illegal pitch for coming to a set and then stepping backward to bring Gerone in from third base.
“Gina can hit,” Dumont said. “Gina’s a star. She is only a freshman in age. As a player she is no freshman.”
Hill was nearly unhittable for five innings, scattering just three over that span, before Tottenville (22−0) broke through in the sixth. She allowed four runs on seven hits and struck out seven in the game. Madison attempted to rally in the top of the seventh and brought the winning run to the plate. Marie Oneto struck out with runners on first and second with two outs after singles by Caitlyn Ganley and Becky Ganley (no relation).
“We battled to the last out,” Dumont said. “I can’t ask for anything more. I asked to come here in September with a chance to win and we had two chances to win.”