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All-Queens softball team honors

Queens might not have been as strong at the top as Staten Island, but there wasn’t a borough deeper.

In the CHSAA, Archbishop Molloy won Brooklyn/Queens and was the state finalist, St. Francis Prep and Mary Louis greatly exceeded expectations and Christ the King had perhaps its best season ever. Cardozo, Francis Lewis, Bayside and Construction were all among the best teams in the PSAL this season.

All-Queens softball Player of the Year: Maria Palmeri, Archbishop Molloy

There was no sophomore slump for Palmeri; instead it was a super season. She was one of the city’s more dominant pitchers. She struck out 78 batters, including 14 against St. Francis Prep in a regular-season game, while earning a 9-3 record. Palmeri tossed a shutout in the Stanners’ CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens championship clincher.

But what made her special was her versatility and potent bat as Molloy was a hit away from its first-ever CHSAA state crown. Palmeri played multiple positions, including third, short and right field. She showed tremendous power at the plate with a number of long home runs while collecting a .478 average hitting cleanup. The scary part is Palmeri has two more seasons to improve on the solid foundation already laid.

All-Queens softball Coach of the Year: Frank Florio, Christ the King

The excitement in Florio’s voice grew with each win and so did his team’s confidence. The 10th-year coach experienced his, and the school’s, finest season with a veteran group he helped bring along. His stars Olivia Auman and Melanie Suarez had career years, but Florio got plenty out of his role players, too. The Royals boasted a 9-6 record, had their first win over St. Francis Prep in nine years and nearly unseated SFP for second place in the division. CK’s season ended with its first-ever trip to the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens semifinals.

First Team

P Amanda Annicaro, Cardozo

There wasn’t a better story than Annicaro this season. The courageous senior returned from illness, which initially was believed to be cancer, to pitch Cardozo to the semifinals for the second straight season. The senior won 10 straight games after coming back and was brilliant in all.

P Olivia Auman, Christ the King

Auman saved her finest season for her last. The three-year starter was absolutely dominant in the circle and a run-producer with the bat. She shut out St. Francis Prep and was four-for-four with three RBIs in the Royals’ first win over the Terriers in nine seasons.

P Katie Derby, St. Francis Prep

The junior handled the role of staff ace brilliantly and was magnificent in the postseason. Her superb movement allowed her to strike out 54 and pitch to a 2.49 ERA. Derby led SFP in doubles with six and was second on the team with a .420 batting average

CF Briana Franceschini, St. Francis Prep

The senior was one of the city’s most clutch hitters. Even her outs were hit hard, especially in the playoffs. She batted .498 with 16 RBIs and had three all-important home runs, including two against Archbishop Molloy. Her two-run double helped send SFP back to the Brooklyn/Queens final.

P Victoria Goldbach, Archbishop Molloy

The crafty sophomore proved herself time after time in the postseason. She shut out St. Francis Prep in Game 1 of the Brooklyn/Queens final, striking out 14 and threw both games for the Stanners in the CHSAA state playoffs. In the final, Goldbach allowed just one earned run in a loss to St. Joseph by the Sea.

1B Anna LaBoccetta, Cardozo

Her left-handed bat was a problem in the middle of the order. The Briarcliffe-bound slugger was perhaps Cardozo’s best power hitter in the Judges’ run to a PSAL Queens A title and a second straight semis appearance.

CF Cheska Mauban, Bayside

Bayside’s lineup was potent, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as scary if not for Mauban’s spark from the leadoff spot. She caused havoc for pitchers with her speed and power and was the Commodores’ emotional leader — no one was more energetic.

P Sheila San Andres, Construction

The senior never played softball before coming to Construction, but made a huge impact while there. After pitching the Red Hawks to the PSAL Class B title in 2009, San Andres led them to an undefeated league record in the ‘A’ league this season.

3B Melanie Suarez, Christ the King

The senior was the Royals’ most consistent and clutch hitter. She hit a three-run, walk-off homer with two outs in the seventh against St. Edmund. It was her second straight four-for-four and multiple RBI day. Her slick fielding at third was a major reason CK had its best season in recent memory.

SS Sandy Tomasik, Cardozo

Impossible to get out consistently, Tomasik was a thorn in opposing pitchers’ sides in the leadoff spot. The senior was also good for at least one big RBI hit in a big game and was smooth and slick in the field.

Honorable Mention

RF Kristen Brosnan, Bryant

SS Allison Donovan, Townsend Harris

LF Krystal Gonzalez, Mary Louis

C ToniAnn Groth, St. Francis Prep

P Priscilla Lallave, Francis Lewis

SS Julia Lipovac, Archbishop Molloy

C Kailan Luciano, Construction

2B Jennifer McCormick, Cardozo

1B Dana Moss, Archbishop Molloy

C Sam Mersten, Cardozo

3B Shannon Minihane, Mary Louis

C Nichola Nichols, Bayside

SS Kim Velez, Christ the King

SS Julie Wagner, Bayside

CF Jill Zic, Mary Louis

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