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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lalli, O'Flynn, DeGennaro, headline All-State teams

(Picture L-R - Lalli; O'Flynn; DeGennaro)

Lalli, O'Flynn, DeGennaro, Lisikatos headline all-state teams
Jun 29, 2011 
Written by
Debbie Schechter

Eastchester's Janine Lalli, Pearl River's Katie O'Flynn and Jamie DeGennaro, and Haldane's Chelsea Lisikatos headline the New York State Sportswriters Association and Coaches Organization of Girls Sports' all-state teams released on Monday.

In all, 21 Section 1 players were named to the teams.

Lalli (GOLD), O'Flynn (18U) and DeGennaro (18U) made first team in Class A while Lisikatos is on the the Class C first team.

On Thursday, O'Flynn, DeGennaro and Ursuline ace Taylor Pirone were named to the 2011 Louisville Slugger/NFCA High School All-Region teams.

O'Flynn was named to the East region first team, while DeGennaro and Pirone were named to the East region second team.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Big North All Division Team

Congratulations to the below Hurricanes for receiving All Division Team Honors.

Marissa Spinuzzi - 1st Team  (18U)

First Base- 
Mary Wiley- 1st team (GOLD)

Brittany Mangan- 2nd Team (GOLD)
Rachel Ravettine- 2nd Team (18U)

Lauren Milligan- 1st Team (18U)
Nicole LaBarbiera- 2nd Team  (16U)
 Allison Brown - 1st Team (GOLD)

At Large- 

Nicole Leocata- 1st Team (16U)
Taylor Summers- 1st Team (18U)

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Allison Brown (GOLD) is closing in on hits record

Old Tappan junior Allison Brown says that catching is her favorite position on the field.

Friday, June 10, 2011
Northern Valley Suburbanite

OLD TAPPAN - When Old Tappan catcher Allison Brown broke through the career 100-hit barrier, she did it in style, going 3-for-4 in an 11-1 victory over Hackensack.

"I knew I was coming up to it, that I was getting closer and closer," she said. "I don't keep track. My dad and my coach do it. After the game coach told us I got to 102."

Hit No. 100 was not her greatest hit - it was a bloop single to left - but it made her the fourth Old Tappan player to get 100 hits since Melissa Landeck took over as coach in 2001.

"It's a nice accomplishment," Landeck said. "It speaks to how consistent Allison has been since freshman year.

She played first base for us and then went behind the plate. What you see is what you get with a hard-working kid that has some power.

It's team first."

Concentrating on hitting line drives is what Allison Brown tries to do with each at bat.


What makes Brown's feat even more impressive is that she is only a junior, so she has made it to the 100-hit club in only three years.

Brown began her freshman season as the DP and started to play first base midway through the season. Last year, her sophomore year, she moved behind the plate and has been there ever since.

She couldn't be happier, saying, "Catching is my favorite position. There is a lot of action."

"We always knew she was a catcher," Landeck said. "We had a senior catcher (Jaime Giacomelli) in her freshman year. We knew she could handle the ball well and we saw we needed her in the lineup from day one."

Brown said she began playing softball in clinics back when she was in kindergarten or first grade. Through the years she played with current teammates Kayla Farrell, Kelsey Morgan, Emily Russell, Brittany Steindl and Mary Wiley.

"I've been pretty good for awhile," she said. "I've always been a taller and bigger kid."


Watching her pregame ritual of soft toss should send chills up the spines of opposing pitchers as she uses her whole body to pound ball after ball into the net.

"I love to soft toss," she said. "I swing right at the ball, but not hard. I try to hit line drives."

Brown finished with 109 career hits by season's end and she will have her senior year to hit some more line drives and perhaps break the school record.

Unfortunately no one knows what the school record is or who holds it. During Landeck's tenure third baseman Alexandra Rodriguez had 117 hits, but Landeck will not say for sure that A-Rod holds the record.

"I'm not going to say that A-Rod has the most," Landeck said. "There were a lot of good teams in the 1980's so maybe someone from that era has more."

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2011 Section One All-Section Hurricanes

Top Row (L-R): Laura Brennan, Jamie Bucci, Lindsay Cohen, Jamie Degennaro, Danielle Destaso
Bot Row (L-R): Janine Lalli, Sami McDonald, Katie O'Flynn, Kristyn Neroda, Colleen Pagnani

Congratulations to the Hurricanes 2011 All-Section Athletes and Honorable mentions.

Section 1 Awards
Diamond Nine +1 
Janine Lalli (Eastchester) - (GOLD)

Scholarship Awards
Softball Coaches Association
Katie O'Flynn (Pearl River) - (18U)

All-Section Athletes
Laura Brennan (Clarkstown North) - (18U)
Jamie Bucci (Sleepy Hollow) - (18U)
Lindsay Cohen (Suffern) - (18U)
Jamie DeGennaro (Pearl River) - (18U) 
Danielle DeStaso (Clarkstown North) - (GOLD)
Janine Lalli (Eastchester) - (GOLD)
Sami McDonald (Clarkstown South) - (GOLD)
Katie O'Flynn (Pearl River) - (18U) 
Kristyn Neroda (Pearl River) - (18U) 
Colleen Pagnani (Tappan Zee) - (18U)

Honorable Mention

Kathleen Davis (Beacon) - (GOLD)
Gemma Mahoney (Pearl River) - (18U)
Brianna Nicosia (North Rockland) - (18U) 
Ruby Silverstein (Clarkstown North) - (18U)
Dee Sinanaj (Tappan Zee) - (16U)
Alison Tobias (Clarkstown South) - (18U)

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hudson Valley Hurricanes 12-U Girls Team Win PONY State Title

The New City-based Hudson Valley Hurricanes 12-U Black team won the New York State PONY championship over the weekend in New Windsor, NY.

 Team goes 7-0 in competition in New Windsor, NY.

The team went 7-0 over the weekend, beating teams from throughout the state, including top teams from Long Island, Westchester, the Bronx and upstate.

The Hurricanes fastpitch team is made up of girls mostly from Rockland County who are hoping to go on to play high school softball. The team is managed by Kristen Sullivan, a Suffern High School graduate who was induected into the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame on April 30.

The team outscored opponents 65-12. They went 4-0 on Saturday, securing the 1st seed in the tournament.

The pitching for the weekend was led by Taylor Sullivan (Suffern), Kelsey Oh (Verona), Sarah Gunderson (Upper Saddle River), Reese Guevarra (New City). Hurricanes pitchers struck out 53 batters in 39 innings.  Taylor Sullivan pitched no-hit shutout with 9 strikeouts.

The offense was led by Megan Sneeden (Valley Cottage) with 10 RBIs. Guevarra had 9 RBIs and scored 12 runs. Gunderson had a double and 8 RBIs. Deangie Jimenez (Spring Valley) had a grand slam and 7 RBIs. Clutch RBI triples were had from Amanda Schweitzer (Stony Point) and Alicia Bertolino (Stony Point). Taylor Adolff had 4 RBIs.

Defense throughout the tournament was led by key plays from Gabby Palumbo (Bardonia), Alicia Bertolino, Amanda Schweitzer and Taylor Sullivan. Catcher Megan Sneeden erased the running game by catching 6 out of 8 base runners attempting to steal.

The championship game against Team Long Island 98 — which took 1st place in a PONY NQ in Connecticut recent — was an exciting one. The Hurricanes went down 0-3 in the 3rd inning with an uncharacteristic 3 errors in one inning. The girls were very upset with themselves. Team LI 98's pitcher at that point had been dominant only allowing one hit and looked like she was getting better.

Manager Kristen Sullivan spoke to the girls between innings, which seemed to help.  The Hurricanes got a run back in the 4th when Deangie Jimenez with one out hit a triple. Sarah Gunderson knocked her in with a hard ground ball making the score 3-1.  In the 5th inning with the score still 3-1 and one out, Alicia Bertolino hit a triple against Team LI's tough lefty pitcher.

Taylor Sullivan and Gabby Palumbo promptly reached base with bunts loading the bases for Reese Guevarra. Guevarra grounded into a fielder's choice but scored Bertolino making the score 3-2 with two runners on. Sneeden on a 1-1 count hit a triple scoring Palumbo and Guevarra from 1st base allowing the Hurricanes to take the lead 4-3. Jimenez knocked in Sneeden to make the score 5-3. That was all the Hurricanes needed as Kelsey Oh closed the door allowing Team Long Island 98 no more hits for the rest of the game. Final score was 5-3.

Class A softball: DeGennaro (18U), O'Flynn (18U Black) propel Pearl River into regional final

Picture: Pearl River's Jamie DeGennaro is congratulated after hitting a solo home run in the first inning of the Class A regional girls softball semifinal against Port Jervis at Minisink Valley High School June 6, 2011. Pearl River defeated Port Jervis 5-0. ( Seth Harrison / The Journal News )

SLATE HILL — Beginning with Jamie DeGennaro's (18U) home run in the top of the first, Pearl River's offense gave pitcher Katie O'Flynn (18U Black) plenty of support in Monday's 5-0 win over Section 9 champion Port Jervis in a Class A regional semifinal at Minisink Valley High School.

The Pirates banged out 11 hits. DeGennaro went 3 for 3 and drove in two runs. Her first-inning home run came after a double play that cleared the bases.

"Hitting it right after the double play was especially good," Pearl River coach Mike Carlacci said. "Instead of our momentum stopping, to get it right back there with the home run was a very good time to hit it."

The Pirates will play Elmira of Section 4 in Wednesday's 5:30 p.m. regional final at Nanuet High School. The winner advances to the state final four.

Pearl River (23-1) scored again in the second inning on an RBI single by Amanda Hartigan (18U Black). And DeGennaro and O'Flynn had back-to-back RBI singles in the third to extend the lead to 4-0. Nicole Leote drove in the final run in the fifth.

Kristyn Neroda (18U Black), Hartigan (18U Black) and O'Flynn (18U Black) each had two hits.

O'Flynn pitched a five-hitter and struck out seven. She did not allow a base runner through the first four innings.

"You want to get in your groove early," O'Flynn said. "Later on, you're expecting them to get a piece of it."

DeGennaro, the Pirates' catcher, saw that O'Flynn was going to be on her game right out of warm-ups.

"Usually she does a run-through of all of her pitches right before she's done," DeGennaro said. "Usually it takes a couple of each pitch to get it right, but she got it first shot, and then I knew she would be good hitting her spots and all."

The Red Raiders (13-8) threatened to score in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, a hit batter and two singles loaded the bases. But O'Flynn induced a fly ball to preserve the shutout.

The Pirates are eager to play their next regional game at Nanuet, so close to home.

"That's awesome," Neroda said. "When I was in ninth grade, we played our regional games there. Everyone from our school goes."

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Class A softball: Pearl River edges Eastchester for sectional title four-peat

THIELLS — Four years ago, Katie O'Flynn (GOLD Alumni), Gemma Mahoney (Hurricanes Alumni), Jamie DeGennaro (18U) and Kaity Goldrick (Hurricanes Alumni) sat in the back of the Pearl River bus fresh off their first Section 1 championship victory. Holding on to the championship plaque, they had a vision of a four-peat in the making.

After the top-seeded Pirates eked out a 2-1, extra-inning win over second-seeded Eastchester for the Class A title on Saturday, the four seniors had accomplished what they set out to do.

"This was our goal since we were in ninth grade," O'Flynn said. "We sat there telling coach (Mike) Carlacci that we were going to do it, and he didn't believe us. He laughed at us and said to prove it, and we proved it to him and everyone else — and especially to ourselves."

With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Mahoney delivered on the promise as she slapped a single to left field that scored Amanda Hartigan (18U Black) from second for the walk-off win at North Rockland High School.

"When I got up, I knew all I had to do was move her over," Mahoney said. "So when I got up, I was like, 'I'm going to get a hit right now. I'm going to get a hit.' I literally was like I see it and envision it going through that spot directly.

"I didn't expect her to go home, but it was just icing on the cake that she scored. I actually didn't even realize that it was the winning run until all my teammates ran onto the field."

With O'Flynn going head-to-head in the circle against Eastchester's Janine Lalli (GOLD) — a teammate from her travel team, the Hudson Valley Hurricanes — everyone knew it was going to be a low-scoring game as two of the top pitchers in Section 1 battled.

O'Flynn allowed just four hits and struck out six, while Lalli gave up five hits and struck out eight.

"There were a lot of infield balls and grounders, and our defense was great," O'Flynn said. "That was the key to the win — not me. It was all the defense."

Lalli didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning, and O'Flynn had five straight 1-2-3 innings at one point during the game.

"If we play that team 10 times, we would probably finish 5-5," Carlacci said. "We knew that going in, so our philosophy was to just find a way to win. We knew it was go to be a game where we couldn't just out-power them."

Down to their last two outs in the top of the seventh, Eastchester rallied to tie the score on a bloop single by Taylor DelGatto that scored Lalli.

"Katie was throwing really well, and they got those three hits in the seventh, but she was awesome all day," Carlacci said.

"It was just a mental game today," O'Flynn said. "It was bound to happen where they broke through at one point. We both had the same physical abilities, so it was whoever messed up first and made the play first."

Pearl River advances to the state regionals and will face Port Jervis of Section 9 at Minisink Valley at 3 p.m. on Monday.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Lalli (GOLD); Eastchester advances to Section 1 Finals

Janine Lalli scattered seven hits and struck out nine in pitching Eastchester into the Section 1 Class A final with a 1-0 win over Hen Hud Thursday. Xavier MascareƱas/The Journal News  

EASTCHESTER — The last time Eastchester reached a Section 1 championship game in softball was back in 2005 when it lost to Putnam Valley. It took six years, but the Eagles will finally get another shot at a title.

The second-seeded Eagles defeated No. 6 Hen Hud 1-0 in a Class A semifinal Thursday to set up a dream matchup in the final against top-seeded and defending state champ Pearl River.

Eastchester (21-1) takes on the Pirates on Saturday at North Rockland High School at 5:30 p.m.

The Eagles will look to avenge last year's 8-4 semifinal loss to Pearl River.

Eastchester last won a Section 1 title in 1995.

"Just to make it there, all our hard work, it's amazing," said Taylor DelGatto, whose RBI single in the bottom of the first accounted for the game's only run.

After that run came across, the game turned into a pitchers' duel between Janine Lalli and Sailors ace Julianna Gaspar.

Lalli pitched a seven-hitter, striking out nine while walking two walks. It wasn't up to her usual standard but she settled back in to a rhythm .

The Sailors had bases loaded and no one out in the top of the fourth and Lalli struck out the next three batters to get out of the jam.

"That did settle me down and got me back into a groove," Lalli said. "It was my worst game of sections but we got out of it and it was still a shutout so that's what matters."

That fourth inning was a turning point in the game.

"I felt like we could've done some damage," Sailors coach Kurt Thomas said. "She made three big strikeouts to get out of it. Tip my hat to her. What we needed to do was put the ball in play and make something happen. She was good."

Gaspar allowed one earned run on nine hits, walked four and struck out two.

"I knew my team was behind me and cheering me on," Gaspar said. "That really helped. I just had to throw strikes and that's what I did."

Anna Crowley was 3 for 3 for the Eagles in a game where the whipping winds made sure neither team had an extra-base hit.

"I just really wanted to hit the ball," Crowley said. "Sections are you have to hit or it doesn't work. I wanted to do whatever I could to help win."

Rachel Buckner went 2 for 4 for the Sailors (17-5).

Eastchester and Pearl River have played some epic games in sections in the past. The Eagles know what it will take to dethrone the three-time defending Section 1 champs.

"Confidence," Lalli said. "I think this is the best team that I've been on since I've been on varsity for five years. I know that we can do it. I've never felt that way before."

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Valentine; Velasquez (GOLD) help John Jay to semifinals

On Tuesday, two was a magic number for the John Jay High School softball team.

Scoring two runs in each of the first two innings and receiving a two-hit effort from pitcher Amanda Gisonni, the No. 2 Patriots defeated No. 7 Brewster, 6-0, in the Section 1 Class AA quarterfinals in Wiccopee.

John Jay (16-3) will host No. 6 Clarkstown North in a semifinal game on Thursday. John Jay coach Bonnie Schilling said her team has high expectations.

"We're thinking states," she said. "Hopefully we can continue playing well."

Gisonni (11-1) struck out nine in the complete-game shutout, and walked three.

"She was hitting locations, taking command of the game very well," said Schilling.

Tateum Valentine (GOLD) hit a pair of triples and collected three RBI and a run scored. Gabby Bracchi was 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored. Amber Velasquez (GOLD) had two hits and one run, and Vicky Lattanzio doubled.

Schilling praised her players' effort, especially given their relative youth, with few seniors. Gisonni is a junior and Valentine is a sophomore.

"They've come together very well over the year," Schilling said. "It's nice to see that all their hard work is paying off for them. Hopefully it will follow through all the way to states."

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Softball quarterfinals: Albertus' Capello (14U) tosses no-hitter; Clarkstown North beats North Rockland; Eastchester beats Tappan Zee

Clarkstown North 3, North Rockland 1: In a Class AA quarterfinal at No. 3 North Rockland, Ruby Silverstein (16U Black)was 3 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI for No. 6 Clarkstown North. Teammate Lauren Strum (16U Black) had an RBI. Alexi Chiorazzi had two hits for the Red Raiders. Clarkstown North will visit No. 2 John Jay-East Fishkill Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Eastchester 4, Tappan Zee 3, 8: In a Class A quarterfinal at No. 2 Eastchester, Christiana Galella singled home Janine Lalli (GOLD) with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Lalli, the winning pitcher, struck out 11. Teammate Taylor Delgatto had two RBI. Kelly Connolly (14U)  had two hits and two RBI for No. 7 Tappan Zee. Eastchester will host No. 6 Hen Hud Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Pearl River 3, Beacon 2: In a Class A quarterfinal at No. 1 Pearl River, Katie O'Flynn pitched a four-hitter with 12 strikeouts. Jamie DeGennaro (18U) hit a home run and had two RBI. Pearl River will host No. 5 Pelham Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Albertus Magnus 4, Pawling 0: In a Class B quarterfinals at No. 5 Albertus Magnus, Lauren Capello (14U) pitched a no-hitter with three strikeouts and two walks in the win over No. 12 Tigers.
"She had total command of the strike zone and was very intimidating," Falcons coach Carl D'Alba said. "She's been getting better and better, and with her on the mound and the experience of our seniors, we have an excellent chance in the next round."

Wayne Hills (0) at Indian Hills (5), NJSIAA Tournament, Quarterfinal Round, North Jersey, Section 1, Group 3 - Softball

The Star LedgerMay 26, 2011 8:23 p.m.
In Oakland, freshman shortstop Nicole Leocata (16U Blue) singled in two runs to key a four-run fifth inning and junior right-hander Ashley DeYoung tossed a four-hitter with two strikeouts and no walks for Indian Hills (24-4) in a North Jersey, Section 1, Group 3 quarterfinal. Jamie Pospishil singled twice in three at-bats for Wayne Hills (20-5).

Pompton Lakes (4) at Elmwood Park (1) - Softball

The Star LedgerMay 25, 2011 9:13 p.m.
Rebecca VanderBrink (18U), Jackie Gloshinski, Danielle Allan and Megan McAteer each drove in a run to lead Pompton Lakes in Elmwood Park. Caroline Medino was the winning pitcher for Pompton Lakes (19-4). Elmwood Park is 5-15.

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