Lab Museum captures PSAL 'B' softball title
Lab Museum United pitcher Sarah D’Amico was on the losing side at Red Storm Field on June 6, 2010.
LaGuardia defeated the Lady Gators to win the PSAL Class B championship that day and D’Amico vowed to herself to not only become a better pitcher, but to get her team back to the championship.
After a semifinal defeat last season, the senior windmiller finally delivered on her own promise Wednesday, striking out 15 and allowing just five hits as No. 2 seed Lab Museum beat Morris, 14-2, to win the PSAL Class B title at St. John’s University.
“I was pitching here last time in my sophomore year,” D’Amico said. “We’ve been trying to get there ever since. I definitely could not have done it without my team behind me, the defense. It’s been a long run this season especially, and I wouldn’t have done it without my entire team.”
Lab Museum (19-0) had a tough game in the semifinals with Scholars’ Academy before scratching two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to win 4-3.
D’Amico, was joined by Division I-bound basketball stars Ashanti Plummer and Jennifer Ramirez, along with Liana Garcia as part of a senior group determined to give Lab Museum United, a school which combines Lab High School, and Museum High in Chelsea, a chance to win a title.
“The seniors were the ones who carried this team,” said sixth-year coach Charles Jessup. “We have four powerful, strong seniors who were determined. We were here two years ago, and they wanted to see it and bring it back home and do it for their school.”
The Lady Bulldogs (18-3) pulled together an impressive Cinderella run in the playoffs. Morris knocked out Brooklyn Studio 38-0 in the second round, top-seeded Frank Sinatra in the quarterfinals 1-0, and beat Brooklyn Tech 9-4 in the semifinals last week at Lincoln High School.
Morris coach Christopher O’Mara said nerves played a huge role in this team’s slow start.
“Playing in this college, seeing their family, the girls were hyped but they were shy about the moment. I think they got a little tight,” O’Mara said. “This is a fantastic run. I’m proud of the girls. We had a lot of clutch hits, played solid defense and I couldn’t be more prouder.”
Lab Museum had to rebound quickly from a defensive error in the top of the first inning that eventually gave ninth-seeded Morris a 1-0 lead.
The Lady Gators struck back quickly in the bottom half, discovering the right approach on how to hit soft-tossing senior right-hander Chasity Quinones.
The Morris pitcher walked the two first batters, before Lindsey Berstein recorded the first of her three hits with a run-scoring single. The floodgates opened from there for the Lady Gators, which got a two-run triple from Kaylee Cimino, a Plummer RBI single, and two more RBIs by Julia Winnik to increased their lead to 9-1 after one inning.
“We had to focus on the slow pitch,” Jessup said. “We knew they was strong defensively, they demonstrated that clearly, but our girls did the right thing. We made the contact and we produced 14 runs.”