As good as the Queensborough Community College softball team was a season ago, head coach Pete Marchitello thinks the 2004 version will be even better.
Marchitello, in his eighth year at the helm of the Lady Tigers, guided last years club to a 16-6 overall record, 9-4 in Region XV, which was good enough for fourth place and to win the conference sportsmanship award.
The team went 2-2 in the postseason, beating Kingsborough and Dutchess and eventually being eliminated by Nassau Community College, which went on to the College World Series.
This years team, however, has a chance to do much more.
Theyre very experienced, Marchitello said. Theyre probably the most experienced team Ive had. And they are not afraid to swing the bat.
The Lady Tigers roster reads like a city all-star team.
Two of the teams three pitchers hail from Queens. Jamie Belletini (Franklin K. Lane) will also catch and play shortstop when not on the mound, while Alicia Sanchez (Bryant) will be the lone member of the Lady Tigers bullpen.
The rotation is anchored by ace Shamika Bolta (Bushwick).
Behind the dish, freshmen Killian Grant (Bishop Loughlin) and Christine Diaz (Bowne) will share time, while Bolta and Sanchez will platoon at first base when not pitching.
Camile Camacho (Sheepshead Bay) is a transfer from Briarcliffe Community College and will play second base, right next to shortstop Paul Uribe (Middle College). Grant will also see time at short.
Third basemen Teresita Figueroa (Bushwick) and Alejandra Zarata (Newtown) round out the infield and will share time at the hot corner.
Zarata will also be one of four sharing time in right field along with Uribe, Figueroa, Diaz and Claudia Rios (Renaissance). Daneisha Lloyd (John Adams) and Natasha Kirkland will patrol left and center fields, respectively.
The teams one glaring weakness is depth. With only 12 roster players available, the Lady Tigers will need to stay off the disabled list if the team is going to fulfill its goals.
As long as were injury-free we have some team this year, Marchitello said. I really think we have a shot if everyone stays healthy. If somebody goes down, obviously were going to have to pick it up. But I expect that. Well start to do it.
The Lady Tigers just won a preseason tournament, beating New York University, 15-11. The team has also scrimmaged several local schools, including Lehman and College of Staten Island. The team was slated to open its season Tuesday against Monroe.
Said Marchitello: This is our year.
Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130
©2004 Community News Group
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