Lauren Burke, Jackie Romeo and their Oyster Bay teammates didn't quite think about the score. So they didn't quite know it was time to celebrate.
"We just knew we were down a couple of runs," Burke said. "To keep the pressure off, we didn't want to overthink it."
Proving that sometimes it's better off not knowing, Romeo drove in the tying runs and Burke delivered the winning hit as Oyster Bay rallied to beat Mineola, 6-5, Monday in Nassau Conference ABC-III softball.
With Oyster Bay trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Romeo hit a two-out, two-run single to tie it and erase what was a 5-1 deficit in the sixth. After Danielle Agostinello reached on an error to put runners on first and third, Burke hit a walk-off single up the middle to drive in Romeo for the winning run.
But Oyster Bay's celebration was exactly like their rally: late. After the hit, Burke was happy yet reserved near first, her teammates were excited yet stationary near the dugout and spectators were entertained yet confused near the stands. Word then spread that the game was over and Burke was mobbed by her teammates.
"We were cautious," Burke joked of the delayed celebration. "We were just making sure we had the right information."
Romeo went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, including a single in the sixth that cut the Mineola lead to 5-2. Amanda Ricci followed with a single to leftfield to make it a two-run game.
"We haven't won the past couple of games," Romeo said, "so this was big."
Mineola (6-3) took a 5-1 lead in the fifth after a sacrifice fly by Addie McKeever and an RBI single by Angela Ribeiro. Eighth-grade pitcher Emily Skupp allowed nine hits and two earned runs with seven strikeouts, and also went 3-for-3 with two stolen bases.
Oyster Bay (4-6) had an eighth-grader of its own in the circle. Dana Galgano, who led off the winning rally with a single, showed off her curveball and kept her team in it, allowing eight hits and three earned runs with 10 strikeouts in a complete game. "I knew my team would pick me up," she said. "Our team is so good at hitting that I had a feeling we were going to come back and win this game."
They did . . . they just didn't quite know it right away.