Ever since suffering a crushing first round playoff to Sewanhaka in extra innings last May, the softball team has been motivated for a deeper postseason run.
So far in 2012, the Lady Warriors are positioning themselves well for a longer season. Despite a 1-0 loss at Division Saturday, Wantagh is 10-2 and finds itself atop the Conference II standings.
“It has taken years of hard work and building the program to get our team where we are right now,” said Wantagh softball head coach Christine Moran, who was a standout second baseman at Hofstra from 1999-2002. “The Wantagh Softball program has finally matured into a force to be reckoned with.”
Junior left fielder Christine Kiefer attributes team chemistry on and off the field for being a big part of Wantagh’s success. In the off-season the team worked out and hit the batting cages together.
“We’ve all bonded,” said Kiefer, who sets the tone for Wantagh’s offense as the team’s leadoff hitter. “We’re all like sisters.”
“The amazing chemistry these girls have and their combined love of the game is all part of the reason Wantagh softball has the potential to accomplish the extraordinary this year,” said Coach Moran.
The Warriors are comprised mostly of juniors (11) along with three seniors and one eighth grader.
A major reason for Wantagh’s success has been junior pitcher Taylor Corwin, who is averaging around 10 strikeouts a game and senior catcher Kellie Mignoli, a six-year starter who has been a force behind the plate and in the batter’s box.
Moran credits the senior leadership from Mignoli, Emma Ryder and Michelle Shablin as being huge in the team’s success. Juniors who have stepped up their game include Christine Kiefer, Kelly Van O'Linda, Christy Sinacori, Jen Lipski, Dianna Albanesse, Juliana D'Ippolitto, Marie Sgroi, Kim Wilson, Kristen Linekin and Alyssa Marro. Also contributing to the Warriors’ success on the diamond has been eighth grader Julie Van O'Lina.
Wantagh has three regular season games remaining starting later today at home against Carle Place starting at 4:30 p.m. The Conference II playoffs are scheduled to get underway late next week and Wantagh hopes it sticks around for as much of the postseason as possible.
“We want to go far,” Kiefer said. “It’s definitely shaping up to be a great season.”