New coach hopes to lead Mary Louis to top

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The Mary Louis Academy varsity softball team bid farewell to retiring coach Steve Contino last year when the team lost to archrival St. Francis Prep in the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan championship game.

This year the team welcomes new head coach Tom Sarosy, who inherits a talented team that could very well make it back to the B/Q finals.

“We have the potential to be the class of the league,” Sarosy said. “If they play well, they can do whatever they want.”

The team will be without graduated standout Stephanie Godziewski but should have enough star power to get the job done. Leading the pack are juniors Nicole Losito and ToniAnn Campuzano, who will pitch and play shortstop, respectively.

Twins Michelle and Julie Walsh add a lot of speed to the Hilltoppers’ arsenal. Michelle will play first base, while Julie will see time across the diamond at third base.

“It was like a gift I was given with these kids,” Sarosy said.

Kelly Langer will be the team’s second pitcher behind Losito, whom she shares captain’s duties with along with Campuzano. Tina Luggiero is another of the team’s standouts but has been on the disabled list after having her knee scoped. She is expected to return in a week or two.

St. Francis Prep, which won the Brooklyn/Queens crown a year ago, lost nine players to graduation, including eight starters. A blowout loss to Molloy in the early going may have signaled the end to the Terriers’ dominance, but according to head coach AnnMarie Rich, that is not so.

“I can guarantee from this time on we’ll be on the upswing,” Rich said. “I knew coming in that this was going to be a rebuilding year. We really lost a lot of girls. I know once we start getting things rolling, things will be OK.”

Four seniors are back, Megan Harms (1B), Larissa Pavlovic (CF), Christine Hunt (P.) and Helena Ingersoll (OF), but the team should get a nice boost from a horde of talented players up from the junior varsity, which also won the B/Q crown.

Mina Cezare (P.), Tina Vullaro (C.), Samantha Marciliano (1B), Christina Camph (2B), Tiffany Caban (SS), Theresa Mendez (OF) and Christina Reilly (OF) highlight the junior class, while three sophomores, Maryanne Diehm (3B), Justine Clifford (C.) and Christina Conry will also see a lot of action.

Prep is 1-1 on the season with a win over St. John’s Prep.

The Archbishop Molloy Stanners were the hard-luck losers of the 2003 season, having won the Queens division title courtesy of a late-season surge before being upset in the B/Q semifinals.

“We had too many games in the end, I think,” said coach Maureen Rosenbaum. “We just wore ourselves out.”

This year’s team might be able to finish what last year’s team could not. Returning 12 of the 14 players on the roster from a season ago, the Stanners are already 3-0 on the league season, including a 13-1 blowout win over St. Francis Prep.

Christina Del Maestro, who will play for Marist next year, is the team’s ace and will be backed up by an experienced and talented team including Mary Braunstein (C.), Michelle Viani (1B/P ), Jaclyn Pizzo (2B), Nicole Siegel (SS), Susan Hurley (3B), Kristen Connor (RF), Danielle Mascia (CF) and Nicole Guerrero (LF.) Sophomores Lauren McCabe and Kerry McLean will also see some playing time.

Amanda Ruecker, a pitcher up from junior varsity last year, has already pitched a no-hitter against St. Agnes.

“We’re really hoping to do well this year,” Rosenbaum said. “We have some leadership this year, which is a level of comfort we’ve never had before. I don’t think they’ll get shaken as much as they have in the past.”

The Christ the King Royals won just three games in the league last season but forced a tie-breaking game against Stella Maris for the final playoff spot, only to lose. Head coach Frank Florio, entering his second year at the helm, is hoping to reverse that result this season.

Florio is bringing back six seniors, Sondra Nore (CF), daughter Tracy Florio (P.), Tara Woebbe (OF), Beth Desanzo (C.), Maureen Matlack (OF) and Courtney Coyne (OF), as well as two juniors, including Bridgette Woebbe (1B) and Paula Manna (SS/C.).

The coach will also be looking to new players up from the junior varsity Aiesha Musafic (OF), April Fisher (2B/OF), Samantha Scanlon (OF) and Samantha Aiello (OF). Lauren Malvica, a transfer from St. Francis Prep, will play third, while two sophomores, Jill Mieszkowski (2B/P.) and Jessica McDermott (OF/SS), will start.

CK is already 1-1 in league after beating St. Agnes and losing to Stella Maris, 9-2. Tracy Florio no-hit Bishop Loughlin in a non-league encounter.

“I feel if we can tighten up our defense and get some timely hitting, we can accomplish some good things this year,” Florio said. “We had a lot of errors and a lot of inconsistency last year, and that’s something we’re going to have to improve on.”

Stella Maris is again expected to be in the hunt for a playoff spot, while St. Agnes and St. John’s Prep round out the Queens division.

Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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