Behind Staten Island, one could make the argument that Queens is the second best softball borough in New York City and this season served as an explanation why.
For the umpteenth time, Archbishop Molloy and St. Francis Prep collided in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens championship. Molloy prevailed and pushed St. Joseph by the Sea hard in the CHSAA state semifinals before falling in extra innings.
In the PSAL, Cardozo, Francis Lewis, Bayside, Townsend Harris and Bryant were all dangerous. Cardozo, Lewis and Bryant made the Class A quarterfinals and the Judges made their first appearance in the semifinals in over 25 years.
QUEENS SOFTBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
P Janelle Boyd, Archbishop Molloy
Nasty, unhittable, determined. All words you could use to describe Janelle Boyd. The Stanners road her right arm to an undefeated CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens title and a spot in the CHSAA state semifinals. The Cornell-bound windmiller didn’t allow a run to a Queens division opponent and tossed a no-hitter against rival St. Francis Prep in their first meeting and the first game of the Brooklyn/Queens championship. She asked for the ball again in Game 2 and again blanked the Terriers. Boyd was almost as dangerous with the bat — she was Molloy’s clean-up hitter all season, where she was at times impossible to keep off the bases. She was also the team’s loudest cheerleader from the dugout.
QUEENS COACH OF THE YEAR
Marco Migliaccio, Construction
There were plenty of deserving coaches in Queens this year, from Cardozo’s Larry Alberts to Archbishop Molloy’s Maureen Rosenbaum. But none of them started an entire program from scratch like Migliaccio. This was just Construction’s second year on the varsity level and, because the school is only three years old, the Red Hawks did not have a single senior. No player on the roster had softball experience before freshman year.
Yet, Migliaccio, the former coach at Van Arsdale, guided Construction to an undefeated record and PSAL Class B championship. The Red Hawks beat Telecommunications in a wild final. There were few better stories than this upstart group. Hard work, he said all spring, was the biggest ingredient.
ALL-QUEENS FIRST TEAM
P Amanda Annicaro, Cardozo
The junior wasn’t overpowering; she wasn’t a strikeout pitcher. But Annicaro didn’t need to be. She utilized a solid defense behind her for a 16-0 record and 0.88 ERA. In the past, the right-hander struggled with her control, but not this season. She gave up just 48 hits and 21 walks in 88 innings. Most importantly, she pitched Cardozo into its first PSAL Class A semifinals in more than 25 years.
P Tina DeLuca, Francis Lewis
The hardest part for DeLuca was adjusting to plenty of turnover in the field behind her. Lewis graduated some of its best defensive players and, at times, the senior right-hander could be tentative. But she was still one of the top pitchers in the city, going 14-2 with a 1.40 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 97 innings. She gave up just 72 hits and walked 13 batters. Had DeLuca pitched in the PSAL Class A quarterfinals against Cardozo — she and two other seniors were preparing for their senior prom — Lewis might have made the semis. She was also one of the division’s best hitters. DeLuca will play at SUNY Canton next year.
P Cecilia Ehresman, Townsend Harris
In terms of ability, Ehresman was one of the top five pitchers in the PSAL the last few years. But because Townsend Harris wasn’t exactly a city powerhouse, the dominant right-hander flew under the radar. This year, the Catholic University-bound Ehresman was 10-3 with a 0.89 ERA and 171 strikeouts in 87 innings. She allowed just 19 hits and 17 walks in the regular season. The Hawks probably should have beaten Bryant in the PSAL Class A second round, but their defense broke down.
1B/P Maria Palmeri, Archbishop Molloy
Palmeri put together quite a freshman season. She led the Stanners in hitting at the end of the regular season and began to show plenty of pop and confidence at the plate by season’s end, coming up with numerous clutch hits. She showed a maturity beyond her years in the circle and earned the team’s No. 2 starter role. Palmeri held St. Francis Prep to just a run in the final regular season meeting and held her own against St. Joseph by the Sea early in the year.
SS Theresa Quinn, St. Francis Prep
Quinn changed positions for the third time in as many seasons, this time moving from catcher to shortstop. Her cannon for an arm and excellent range made her one of the league’s best at the position. Quinn, who will walk-on at Iona next season, was a fixture in the middle of the Terriers’ order as well. There she provided some of the team’s biggest hits, including an RBI single in a 1-0 win over St. Edmund in the playoffs.
1B Carla Pennolino, St. Francis Prep
Pennolino didn’t have her typical year number-wise with the bat. Chalk that up to a lot of hard-hit balls right at people. She always had long and quality at bats against the league’s best. The Queens College-bound slugger never took tough days at the plate onto the field where she was one of the best handling the bunt or saving an error with a scoop or a tag. The four-year varsity player tried to spark the Terriers in Game 2 of the Brooklyn/Queens championship with a pair of doubles off Janelle Boyd.
P Johanna Rice, St. Francis Prep
Rice got better and more dominant as the season went on. The C.W. Post-bound windmiller used her superb command and movement around the strike zone to induce easy and harmless outs. When she was really on, the strikeouts would certainly accumulate. Rice, who was also the team’s leadoff batter, showed great heart in the Brooklyn/Queens final. She lasted just an inning in Game 1 and came back to throw seven scoreless in Game 2.
C Samantha Soto, Franklin K. Lane
Her team had a tough year, but Soto’s numbers were eye popping. The senior hit .581 with a .710 on-base percentage and a 1.070 slugging percentage. All of those led PSAL Queens A-II. Behind the plate, she was an absolute rock and there were very few catchers in the city that could match Soto’s arm. She will attempt to walk on next year at St. John’s, where she has a full academic scholarship. Soto is second academically in her graduating class.
SS Sandy Tomasik, Cardozo
There were few better leadoff hitters in Queens than Tomasik. The junior led Queens A-I in batting average (.633), on-base percentage (.695) and stolen bases (21). Her being on base was crucial for Cardozo’s solid middle-of-the-order hitters. Tomasik also excelled defensively at shortstop, getting to almost every ball in her vicinity.
SS Anniela Vaccaro, Archbishop Molloy
Vaccaro showed she is a Division I player late in the season. She found her stroke and power. The Monmouth-bound senior was almost an automatic hit every time she stepped to the plate down the stretch, allowing her to use her speed on the base paths. Her athleticism is bar none, giving her tremendous range and a strong arm at short.
ALL-QUEENS HONORABLE MENTION
P Olivia Auman, Christ the King
C Toni Ann Groth, St. Francis Prep
CF Jennifer Beiner, Cardozo
1B Thessaly Belizario, Bryant
SS Allison Donovan, Townsend Harris
C Theresa Hernandez, Francis Lewis
P Lana Kovac, Bryant
LF Melissa Kump, Archbishop Molloy
1B Anna Laboccetta, Cardozo
2B Jaclyn Liebowitz, Cardozo
RF Julia Lipovac, Archbishop Molloy
C Danielle Marino, Mary Louis
RF Gina Mingione, Cardozo
P Sheila San Andres, Construction
SS Julie Wagner, Bayside
©2009 Community News Group
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