By The TimesLedger
Oh, that smile.
At least once an inning, TimesLedger PSAL Queens Softball Player of the Year Alyssa Schneebaum would flash that contagious ear-to-ear grin.
And just after flashing her pearly whites, the senior at Francis Lewis whipped the ball by opponents.
The Bucknell-bound pitcher had a season to remember, giving up just eight runs in 167 innings, striking out 231 en route to a 25-2 record in leading her team to the first softball city championship at Francis Lewis in 27 years.
In doing so, Schneebaum has received almost every honor imaginable, including the PSAL Wingate Heisman award, Player of the Year by almost every local publication and was inducted — along with senior batterymate Lucia Oswald — into the Francis Lewis High School Hall of Fame.
“For three years, she didn’t make All-Queens once because there were other powerful pitchers in Queens like [former Van Buren standouts] Jasmine Edwards and Tehmeena Afzal,” said Francis Lewis coach Judy McCleary. “Now she’s gotten everything and it’s great because she’s just a super kid. She’s worked so hard on pitching the last three years.”
The thing that sets Schneebaum apart, McCleary said, is her old-school work ethic.
“She’s not a typical athlete, she just works. She works over the summer, in her attic,” McCleary said. “She puts her heart and soul into it. She just wants to improve on each and every game. You don’t see that in players today.”
Her stats, both on the mound and at the plate, are just mind-boggling.
As a freshman shortstop, Schneebaum batted .492 with an .820 on-base percentage. In her sophomore year, her first on the mound, she struck out 115 and had one no-hitter while batting .400.
In her junior year, she went 19-7 with 176 strikeouts, tossing one no-hitter, four one-hittters and three two-hitters. Schneebaum also batted .492 and had an on-base percentage of .507.
This year she tossed two no-hitters, including one in the quarterfinals against Midwood. She had a 0.27 earned run average and batted .400 as the Patriots No. 3 batter.
“I’m going to miss Alyssa because I was able to speak with her on a different level than just player-coach,” McCleary said. “It was nice to bounce ideas off of her.”