The 8U Lady Rebels Gold softball team completed their magical 2013 season by winning the 7th annual East Meadow Fall Classic Girls Softball Tournament, defeating the Massapequa Thunder in the championship game by a final score of 12-5. The Lady Rebels remained undefeated for the entire tournament, compiling an 8-0 record in regular tournament play, and winning both playoff games. This tournament victory gave the Lady Rebels Gold the East Meadow “Triple Crown”, because they had previously won the EM Futures Tournament and prestigious Summer Sizzle earlier in the season, compiling an amazing 23-1 record along the way.
The Lady Rebels had a scare in the semi-final round of the tournament as they faced some tough competition from Central Nassau. The Ladies found themselves down by a score of 7-1 as they headed into the late innings, while their anxious coaches fretted and paced on the sidelines. The Lady Rebels themselves remained calm in the dugout, however, laughing and dancing to their self composed “Lady Rebel Shake”, before exploding for five runs in the 5th inning to close the gap to 7-6, and coming up with a huge double play started by Lexi Nilsen to squash a late Central Nassau threat. Central Nassau scored an insurance run in the top of the 6th to stay ahead 8-6 as the Lady Rebels came to bat in bottom of the last inning: Once again, the Lady Rebels came through with clutch hitting and base-running, especially by the speedy Lily “Baby Ruth” Yepez, who eventually slid into home with the winning run for a final score of 9-8.
The Lady Rebels met the Massapequa Thunder for the championship game the following weekend on October 20th, under a beautiful fall sky. The Thunder held the distinction of being the only team to beat the Lady Rebels this season. The stands were packed full of loyal parents, fans and Lady Rebel groupies, who donned their blue and gold attire with style as they all watched the Ladies take the field after a chorus of their now famous, ear-splitting, pre-game chanting.
The Lady Rebels quickly jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first, after holding Massapequa scoreless in the top half of the inning due to the stellar defense of Lexi Nilsen and Alanna Morse. Massapequa stayed in the game throughout with their solid defense and hitting, scoring 3 runs in the second and 2 more in the third, but the Lady Rebels answered with seven runs of their own over the next few innings to keep the lead for the entire game.
Massapequa loaded the bases in the 5th, and the game seemed in jeopardy when their cleanup hitter ripped a screaming line drive to right center that seemed destined to clear the bases. But defense was the theme of the day for the Lady Rebels, and this time it was outfielder Janaye Loforte who came up big as she raced to snag the liner to end the inning. Loforte also came up with three big hits in the game, leading the team with 4 RBIs for the day. Kylie Persampire also led the offense by going 3 for 3 and scoring three runs. Everyone contributed to the offense, but particular standouts with their timely hitting and nifty base-running were Konstantina Sigalis, Lily Yepez, Gia Miccio and Hailey Stork. The Lady Rebels’ defense was their trademark this season, and the championship game was no exception with some great defensive plays by Kerri Hatcliffe, Hailey Guerrero, Alanna Morse, Julianna Brocks, Lexi Nilsen and tournament MVP, shortstop Kayla Weber. The Thunder went down with a whimper in the last inning, as the Lady Rebels clinched the game with a final score of 12-5.The Lady Rebels received their first place trophies from tournament director Mike Inger after a spirited silly string celebration in the outfield, and then it was off to Adventureland for a season ending, well-deserved celebration. The coaching staff, Jared Hatcliffe, Sal Miccio, and of course, Kevin Weber are to be commended for their dedication and leadership of one of the most successful teams in North Bellmore-North Merrick history. Congratulations to the Lady Rebels Gold, who are a very special group of young ladies both on and off the field! “Lady Rebels on three! Ready one, two three: Lady Rebels!”