Lady RedHawks stay busy on Florida trip
While softball fields around the area were unplayable last week due to the lingering effects of a brutal winter, Marist was unaffected.
That’s because the Lady RedHawks ventured to Orlando, Fla., during their school’s spring break. Marist players spent most of their days at the ballpark instead of the beach, but they still had some fun in the sun as they returned home with three wins in six tries.
The Lady RedHawks opened their 2014 campaign with a 2-1 victory over Miami Gulliver Prep on Monday and then defeated Penbrooke Pines Charter 3-1 the next day. After suffering a 4-1 loss to Westminster Christian in the first of two Wednesday contests, Marist bounced back to beat Osceola of Orlando 9-1.
The Lady RedHawks closed things out on Thursday with setbacks against Pines Harmony (2-1), which is ranked 15th nationally, and St. Cloud (8-4).
“I was pleased with the play of both our young girls and older girls,” said Marist coach Denise Fasano, who is in her final season in charge of the Lady RedHawks’ varsity program.
“It’s just a matter of the two groups communicating with one another, definitely cooperating with each other, and believing in each other. This is a group who I believe can perform [well] on game day together.”
In the win over Miami Gulliver Prep, junior Zariya Gonzalez smacked a run-scoring single for Marist and also struck out seven while throwing a complete game. Alexis Rogers had the Lady RedHawks’ other RBI.
Gonzalez’s work in the circle was just the beginning of her pitching duties. She logged 23 innings in all during the week, struck out 18 batters, won two of three decisions and registered an earned-run average of 0.69. Marist’s other hurler, Lizzie Annerino, went 1-2 with four strikeouts and a 1.31 ERA.
Offensively, the Lady RedHawks received contributions from a number of players, but their two stalwarts — senior shortstop Brooke Wyderski and sophomore second baseman Madison Naujokas — were the standouts. Wyderski batted .476 in the six contests, slugged her first homer of the year and drove in three runs, while Naujokas hit .450 and had one RBI.
While most of the season remains, Fasano realizes time will pass quickly, so she wants to enjoy every moment of her final coaching campaign.
“It’s bittersweet, of course, because Marist is the only job I’ve had,” said Fasano, who guided the Lady RedHawks to the Class 4A title two years ago. “I’m very excited to spend my last season at Marist High School, coaching a sport that I love, and working with girls who I hope believe in what I have to offer to them.”
And she also made sure the Lady RedHawks didn’t live an all-work-and-no-play existence in Florida.
“Friday was our day off, so the girls got to spend the day by the pool and visit downtown Disney,” Fasano said. “They were also able to do some outlet-mall shopping. It was a good bonding time for them.”
The Lady Knights opened their season last weekend in downstate Jacksonville at the Play The Turf Jamboree, but they came away winless in two games. Both Seneca (10-0) and Princeville (12-1) had little difficulty in handling Chicago Christian.
Against Seneca on Friday, Kaycee Pittman went 3-for-3 with a double for the Lady Knights in the six-inning contest. Madison Riemersma’s sacrifice bunt scored Davina Gutierrez with Christian’s lone run on Saturday.