Bay Shore's softball team had not played in 12 days, and pitcher Michelle DeVito felt compelled to make up for lost time. In the top of the first, she struck out the Connetquot side in order, and with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the inning, she hit a bases-clearing triple. And that's not all.
DeVito threw a five-hitter with 11 strikeouts as Bay Shore held off a late Thunderbirds rally to win, 6-4, Tuesday in a clash of Suffolk League II unbeatens.
"This gave everyone on our team confidence, whether they started, pinch hit or pinch ran," DeVito said. "This set a new standard for our team, and we'll just keep getting better from here."
The Marauders (4-0) were paced by DeVito and catcher Courtney Syrett, who was intentionally walked twice. With two outs in the second, Syrett picked off a runner at first, letting fly a snap throw from her knees.
"It wasn't a called play," Syrett said. "I saw that she was leaning, and I just felt it and threw, and she was way gone."
Bay Shore took a 6-0 lead in the third on Stephanie Elwood's single, but Connetquot pitcher Erin Sweeney settled in to strike out seven in a complete game.
DeVito had her assortment of pitches working early, as she allowed only three singles through the first six innings. She has struck out at least 11 batters in each of her four starts.
"When she's on, she hits every spot, and she did that," Bay Shore coach David Rivera said. "She went up, down, in and out and hit every spot we asked of her."
In the seventh, Connetquot (4-1) mounted a rally, as DeVito walked three of the inning's first five batters to load the bases. Consecutive two-run doubles from Angela Giangregorio and Emma O'Donnell cut the lead to two and brought the tying run, Lizzie Frayler, to the plate.
DeVito got Frayler (1-for-4) to pop up to shortstop Giana Panariello, who battled gusting winds to catch the final out near foul territory. "That shows that even if I start struggling,'' DeVito said, my team has my back."