By Anthony Bosco
Steve Contino is trying to fill up his days since he retired two weeks ago. A longtime sergeant with Brooklyn Homicide North, the 46-year-old Ozone Park resident has been “just taking it easy” and “weighing some offers” since hanging up his holster.
As head coach of the Mary Louis Academy softball team, Contino and his girls have been murdering the opposition this past week, winning four straight by a combined score of 59-6 to finish the Catholic High School Athletic Association league season with a perfect 12-0 record.
“They’re just crushing the ball right now,” Contino said of his team, which is 20-3 overall. “I always had great pitching and great defense. We’ve been working on our hitting for the past month. Things are good.”
That’s an understatement.
The stretch began last week when the Hilltoppers scored a 13-1 win over Christ the King, as both Susan Basile and Brennan Sprague had two hits and two RBIs.
The team followed that win with a competitive match-up against Archbishop Molloy, in its first year of varsity play, leading 3-1 before blowing the game open in the fifth inning with nine runs — including seven consecutive doubles – en route to a 15-1 blowout win.
A day later Mary Louis was led by Patricia Glauner and Caroljean Kavanaugh, who paced the Hilltoppers in a 15-4 win over Christ the King. Glauner got the win on the mound, striking out seven, while Kavanaugh blasted a three-run dinger.
Mary Louis then capped the regular season with a 16-0 win over St. Agnes, as Stephanie Gozdziewski and Elizabeth Strein both stroked two-run triples.
“We’re peaking at the right moment,” Contino said. “We have very good pitching. We’re hitting the ball, so I’m happy with that.
“It’s a very, very good group,” the coach added of his team, which earned home field through the first two rounds of the playoffs, which were slated to begin Tuesday with a match-up against Brooklyn’s St. Edmund Prep.
Last year Mary Louis played second fiddle to St. Francis Prep in Queens, but when the Terriers lost junior Kristen McEvitt’s ability to pitch early in the season, the power swung heavily in favor of the Hilltoppers in the race for borough supremacy.
Gozdziewski and Glauner have dominated on the mound for Mary Louis, leading the team to its 12-0 league log. But the duo also has been thriving at the plate.
“They’ve both been hitting a ton,” the coach said. “Usually I [use an extra hitter] for my pitchers, but not this year.
“We played a very difficult schedule,” Contino added. “Unfortunately all of that means nothing. Now the playoffs start.”
If Mary Louis wins Tuesday, they will be back in action Thursday at the team’s home field, Cunningham Park Field No. 21, located at 207th Street and 72nd Avenue.
And as long as Mary Louis is alive, Contino will be keeping himself busy.
St. Francis Prep 23, St. Agnes 0. Alicia Syrok allowed just one hit while striking out five for the Terriers in the win. She also was 3-for-4, including a home run, as Prep improved to 7-4 in league action.
Archbishop Molloy 12, St. John's Prep 0. The Stanners’ Jaclyn Pizzo and Nicole Siegel drove in two runs apiece, improving Molloy to 8-4 on the year.
Forest Hills 13, Franklin K. Lane 3. Jessica Chow tossed a two-hitter and went 3-for-3 with four runs scored and Samantha Ruiz was 3-for-4 with three runs scored to lead Forest Hills (19-3, 12-2 Queens B-II).
Bryant 13, John Adams 12. Bryant (5-9 Queens A) rallied from eight runs down to edge Adams on Jessica Santiago’s two-out bases clearing triple in the top of four-run seventh inning. Jaclyn Rodriguez was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and Ally Stamatiades struck out seven and went 2-for-4 for the Owls. Adams fell to 13-4-1, 11-3-1 in Queens A.
Cardozo 7, Van Buren 4. Lindsay Feinman went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Lindsay Rhodes struck out seven and was 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Cardozo (5-9 Queens A).
Francis Lewis 4, Bayside 1. Alyssa Schneebaum tossed a three-hitter and struck out 10 and battery-mate Lucia Oswald went 2-for-3, including a home run, with three RBIs for Lewis (15-2, 10-2 Queens A). Annel Sanchez drove in the lone run for Bayside (14-3, 9-3 Queens A).
Flushing 20, Richmond Hill 10. Rosandy Morel went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs, and Wing Csee Har was 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs for Flushing (8-5 Queens III-B).
Bayside 16, Townsend Harris 5. Talia Fromm belted a pair of home runs and drove in five RBIs, Sanchez had a home run and a triple and Justine Kraus was 3-for-3 with three RBIs for the Commodores. Elizabeth Maranon was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored for Townsend Harris (5-9 Queens A).
John Adams 11, Cardozo 2. Francesca Romano was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Rita Limitone and Natasha Kirkland each drove in a pair of runs for the Spartans, who scored seven runs in the fifth inning.
Newtown 22, Franklin K. Lane 14. Monica Pahl went 2-for-3 with two home runs and four RBIs and Annie Wu stole six bases for Newtown (15-5-1, 11-2 Queens II-B). Jamie Bellettini was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored for Lane (10-4 Queens II-B)
Forest Hills 26, Long Island City 16. Amelia Berger went 3-for-5 with two home runs and seven RBIs, Michelle Kim was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and Jessica Chow was 2-for-2 with five RBIs for the Rangers. LIC (3-11 Queens II-B) was led by Angela Cuizio, who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Krystle Lopez was 2-for-2 with two RBIs.
Jamaica 12, Richmond Hill 8. Ahsaki Anokye went 2-for-2 with three RBIs and Kuiani Miller went 1-for-2 with two RBIs for Jamaica (7-6 Queens B-III).
Forest Hills 13, Grover Cleveland 12. Michelle Kim (3-for-4 with a triple, a homer and three RBIs) and Amelia Berger (3-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and two stolen bases) led the Rangers.
—Dylan Butler contributed to this story
Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 130.