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Construction tops Tots in comeback

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Construction senior Kailan Luciano was finishing up the fifth-grade the last time Tottenville lost a PSAL regular season softball game.

She, however, put an end to the Pirates’ 117-game winning streak that dates back to 2006 by hitting a walk-off, two-run homer to give Construction a dramatic 6-5 come back victory over the visiting Pirates at Smokey Oval in a Class A crossover game Friday.

After going down 0-2 in the count to Tots ace Cheryl Lopez in the final at-bat, Luciano knew she had to protect the plate and swing at anything close to a strike. She responded by sending the next pitch, which she said was a little high, over the centerfielder’s head.

“It felt amazing, honestly, because I saw how excited my team was and how excited my coach was, and knowing that this was a milestone,” Luciano said. “It’s going to help us build the confidence to hopefully reach the championship and win it.”

The home run was Luciano’s second of the day. Her first, also a two-run blast, gave the Red Hawks a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth. The game-winning long ball had her coach nearly speechless.

“Her second home run was just unbelievable,” Coach Marco Migliaccio said.

Construction (8-1) also got a solid performance from ace Britney Rodriguez in the circle. She allowed five runs on five hits, but gave her team a chance to win. Rodriguez, who dedicated the game to her sick grandmother, also delivered four hits, including a leadoff double in the bottom of the seventh, setting up Luciano’s blast.

“She’s one of the top pitchers in the city,” Migliaccio said of Rodriguez. “She kept her composure. She kept with our game plan and executed it.”

The win was extra special for Construction. It lost to Tottenville (7-1) last season in the PSAL semifinals 9-1. The Red Hawks also lost to the powerful softball program 15-2 in the regular season. Because of this, they knew just how difficult it would be to defeat the Pirates.

“In order to beat Tottenville you need to have a perfect game,” Migliaccio said. “We came close to perfect.”

The program has seen a steady rise in recent years from dominating the PSAL B Division. This win represents the final hurdle in the Red Hawks’ quest to prove they belong with the elite.

“It means a lot [to end their streak],” Rodriguez said. “The past couple of years I’ve always had confidence in my team that we can do it. We finally beat them.”

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