Their motto this season was “make it count” and that’s just what the Calhoun High School softball team did to clinch the conference II championship.
With a regular season record of 10-4, the team is led by coach and special education teacher Michael Pisano. Additionally, Pisano was named Conference Coach of the Year. Assistant coaches are Darian Caputo and David Stern.
“Winning the Conference title showed us that the lofty goals we set at the start of the season are possible to achieve and if we continue to approach practice and games with the same level of grit and determination there is no ceiling,” he noted.
“Calhoun’s No. 1 pitcher and the driving force behind our success is Lauren DeMarco. In 77 innings pitched she had a 1.27 ERA with 111 strikeouts,” he continued.
“Recording 100 strikeouts within the regular season is a huge accomplishment for a pitcher and is really only accomplished by an elite few,” explained Pisano. “During Lauren’s junior year, she threw a perfect game and one-hitter. Lauren puts in the work, oftentimes practicing after the team finishes. She's a true competitor who wants the ball no matter the circumstance. She is committed to play at Wilkes University in the Fall of 2022.”
Senior catcher Gabriella Razza has rarely let anything get by her.
“Additionally, very few runners steal a base on her because of her cannon of an arm. She is quick on her feet and tough as nails,” added Pisano. “One of the most resilient athletes I have ever coached. Her hitting was quite impressive this year with a .350 avg.”
Calhoun softball is largely led by a crew of stellar sophomores who continue to improve every day.
“On any given day there are seven or eight sophomores in the starting lineup,” Pisano said. “Speedy sophomore outfielder Gabriella Facciponti is able to cover an impressive amount of turf with her diving catches and skilled ball tracking. Facciponti had a batting average of .375 and 18 stolen bases. Sophomore Gia Pisicchio dominated the infield with her golden glove skills at shortstop and charged the Colts offense by putting up an impressive .465 batting average. Sophomore third baseman Johanna Espositio has a lightning glove and developed into one of the most consistent hitters coming through with a number of clutch hits that helped The Colts win some tough games.
Gianna Lucchi, who played junior varsity last year, became one of the dominant hitters posting a .433 batting average and became one of a reliable outfielders, Pisano explained.
“Additionally, the timely and clutch hitting of senior Rebecca Collins and sophomore Isabella Pagano have helped the Colts claw back from some difficult run deficits and win in a tremendous fashion,” added Pisano.
Pisano attributes the team’s success and conference title to several tough losses early in the season that gave an opportunity to reexamine the team with a new sense of drive and purpose.
“Sometimes a team develops in ways you don’t expect,” he added. “We never expected to become the ‘come from behind’ team that refuses to give up. The message the coaches sent to the players is that adversity makes us stronger and more resilient. These moments make us want to strive to be better and achieve even more than what we originally set out to do. Losing forces us to come together as a team and evaluate our goals. It teaches us what doesn’t work and gives us an opportunity to fix it, making us stronger,” Pisano said.
The first round of playoffs is Tuesday, May 17, against Wantagh in the single A Nassau County postseason.
Date Added: 5/17/2022