QUEENSBURY– East Meadow pitcher Kerri Shapiro first kept Union-Endicott at bay with her arm, then later used her bat to end the Tigers’ softball season in disappointing fashion.
Shapiro tossed a three-hitter and also drove in six runs, three of those on a home run that broke open a close game as the Jets cruised to an 8-0 victory over U-E in a state Class AA semifinal game Saturday at the Adirondack Sports Complex.
U-E (14-9) had entered Saturday’s contest coming off three straight shutout victories.
But East Meadow piled up 17 hits against the Tigers. The Jets wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, getting a first-inning run on a Dina Larosa groundout with the bases loaded, scoring Marisa Sanantonio for a 1-0 lead.
East Meadow also loaded the bases in the second inning with one out, but U-E pitcher Rachel Mouillesseaux got a pair of strikeouts to escape the jam.
She was not as fortunate in the fourth.
Taylor Conti and Sanantonio both singled with one out. One out later, Shapiro hit a bomb to left well over the fence for a three-run homer that put East Meadow ahead 4-0.
Shapiro later added an RBI double in the sixth inning and a two-run single in a three-run seventh inning.
“We got thoroughly beaten by a better team,” U-E coach Jim Testa said. “There’s not much else we could do. Their pitcher was very good and she hits a home run.
“That home run took a little wind out of us. 1-0, anything can happen, 4-0 we really have to do something.”
U-E did have some opportunities, but they were infrequent.
In the first inning, after Mouillesseaux drew a two-out walk, Karleigh Eaton hit a double to center but Cassie Conrad – the courtesy runner for Mouillesseaux – was thrown at the plate trying to score.
U-E did have runners on first and second with two out in the fifth, down 4-0, but Carol Ann Pawlyshyn was picked off second base to end the inning. U-E went down in order the final two innings.
Meanwhile, Mouillesseaux had a tough ending to a fine four-year varsity career.
After hurling three straight shutouts, she was lifted for reliever Lex Eastman after giving up a leadoff single in the fifth inning.
“Anything I threw they were hitting. I wasn’t as strong as I have been, but they were a good-hitting team.” Mouillesseaux said. “But it’s been an amazing run. My team’s amazing, it was a great (season) to go out with my senior year.”