MacArthur's Ashley Massoni found her groove early and kept her foot pressed on the pedal. The sophomore whipped up an assortment of crackling fastballs and breaking pitches that hugged the outside corner.
She has established herself as the Generals' ace, which she acknowledges is a nerve-racking role that gives her an added shot of adrenaline.
Massoni threw a two-hitter with six strikeouts as MacArthur beat East Meadow, 3-1, in a Nassau Conference AA-I softball game Tuesday.
"We always have had a rivalry with East Meadow," said Massoni, who improved to 4-1. "They are a good team, and the fact that we've beaten them twice this season is more than we can ask for."
East Meadow (6-5, 5-3) threatened in the second inning, as a Massoni throwing error put runners on the corners with no outs. After a groundout to Massoni advanced a second runner into scoring position, Emma McKillop hit a sharp grounder to shortstop Kristen Brown, who threw home to get Kerri Shapiro by a couple of strides.
"That really brought up our energy and made us extra confident," Brown said. "It was a good play. I wanted to get the out at home, and [catcher Kristin] Daly made a great tag."
Then Daly's great throw caught McKillop stealing to end the inning. Crisis averted.
MacArthur (10-2, 7-1) broke the scoreless tie in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Briana Lombardo. A fielder's choice from Kristen Arbiter scored Brown for the second run.
Brown went 3-for-3 and hit her ninth home run of the season in the sixth inning, a solo shot to straightaway centerfield that gave the Generals a 3-0 cushion.
Massoni's no-hit bid ended with Marisa San Antonio's two-out single in the sixth, and Madison West's solo home run in the seventh left her three outs shy of a shutout.
"I can get a no-hitter or not, but I'm always going into the game the same way, confident and strong," Massoni said. "I'm just looking to get outs. I am not always looking for a no-hitter."
The Generals, however, do not need to look any further for an ace. They have found one in Massoni.