By Marc Raimondi and Joseph Staszewski
As always, Queens was one of the best softball boroughs in the city.
Archbishop Molloy won a fourth straight CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens title and a second straight city championship. St. Francis Prep and Mary Louis were right on the Stanners’ heels in league play.
In the PSAL, both Contruction and Francis Lewis reached the Class A semifinals and Bryant made the semifinals. Cardozo won the Queens A-I title and Bayside had an excellent year despite being without cancer-stricken coach Steve Piorkowski.
All-Queens softball Player of the Year: Victoria Goldbach, Archbishop Molloy
Goldbach was the epitome of the word ace in her senior season. The Catholic University-bound windmiller established herself as one of the city’s most dominant forces in the circle.
“She’s awesome,” Stanners Coach Maureen Rosenbaum said. “She’s had a great career at Molloy.”
Goldbach, who never lost a CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens game in her career, threw more often than usual when Maria Palmeri missed time with a back injury. She tossed a one-hitter and struck out 13 in a 1-0 eight-inning Diocesan semifinal win over Fontbonne Hall and won both games of the championship series, coming on in relief in Game 2, which allowed the Stanners’ bats to rally.
Goldbach tossed the game of her career by limiting St. Joseph by the Sea to two hits in a 1-0 victory in the CHSAA state semifinals and city championship game.
“It’s my senior year,” Goldbach said after earning Molloy its first win over the Vikings. “This is what we have been wanting to do for four years. It couldn’t feel any better.”
All-Queens softball Coach of the Year: Maureen Rosenbaum, Archbishop Molloy
As the Stanners made their run to a third-straight CHSAA state final, Rosenbaum kept saying her team had to work for this one. Molloy has been the dominant team in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens in recent years, but were faced with more adversity along the way this time before winning a fourth straight crown.
The Stanners lost two league games, including their opener, dealt with an injury to star Maria Palmeri and watched its outfield defense improve as the year went on. Rosenbaum leaned heavily on her veteran core, never panicked when the Stanners’ bats struggled and watched her team again play its best in late May. Her faith was rewarded when Molloy beat rival St. Joseph by the Sea for the first time in program history in the CHSAA city championship game before falling to Kellenberg in the state final.
3B Bianca Concepcion, Francis Lewis
The slick-fielding third baseman wasn’t just Lewis’ most consistent hitter. Concepcion’s leadership as a senior was unparalleled and the Patriots would not have made their second-straight PSAL Class A semifinals without her.
SS Gabrielle Faustino, Bryant
Bryant’s heart and soul, Faustino’s leadership for legendary Coach Wally Hausdorf was simply invaluable. She also packed a punch at the plate and was sure-handed at shortstop, the infield’s most important position.
P Heidi Gomez, Bayside
Just a sophomore, she emerged this season as one of the top up-and-coming players in the city. Not only was she Bayside’s ace in the circle, she was the team’s top power threat and run producer en route to the PSAL Class A second round.
P Nicole Hubert, Mary Louis
While the Hilltoppers were filled with veteran stars, the sophomore was their most valuable player because of her versatility in the circle and at the plate. She pitched TMLA to wins over Molloy and St. Francis Prep, including a four-hit shutout of the Terriers. Hubert also went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and had a home run in a big victory against Fontbonne Hall.
P Nicole Lomangino, St. Francis Prep
Lomangino continued in the long line of strong Terriers aces and delivered some of the season’s biggest hits as St. Francis reached the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens championship series. Just one of two seniors on a young team, she delivered her finest performance in a 4-1 win over Fontbonne Hall when she struck out 14 and drove in two runs.
1B/SS Dana Moss, Archbishop Molloy
The C.W. Post-bound senior was the epitome of quiet consistency. Three-hit games and line-drive singles and doubles were the norm for Moss in the middle of Molloy’s lineup. She had a four-hit day in a win over Fontbonne and belted a two-run homer during a 3-1 victory against Homer in the prestigious Mudville Tournament.
CF Tara O’Rourke, St. Francis Prep
O’Rourke’s glove and arm — throwing out two runners at the plate against Mary Louis — has never been in question. The junior blossomed at the plate this season also, moving up in the order from ninth to second by year’s end as it became a chore to keep the speedster off the bases. She had two hits and two RBIs to help the Terriers defeat Fontbonne Hall.
SS/P Maria Palmeri, Archbishop Molloy
One of the best players New York City had seen, Palmeri added a few special moments to her outstanding four-year career. The C.W. Post-bound shortstop homered in her first at-bat back from a back injury, tossed a shutout against rival St. Francis Prep and drove in a run to lead Molloy to a fourth-straight Diocesan crown.
P Britney Rodriguez, Construction
We don’t know how Rodriguez carried all the league-leader plaques she won at the PSAL city championship game. The sophomore sensation led Class A in almost every statistical category — hitting and pitching — to help Construction reach the semifinals.
P Shelby Yacovone, Cardozo
With wins over Francis Lewis and Bayside in the same week, Yacovone pitched Cardozo to the PSAL Queens A-I title despite a rollercoaster season. When longtime Coach Larry Alberts was removed, Yacovone provided excellent leadership.
C Stephanie Barbaro, Mary Louis
SS Danielle Cervasio, St. Francis Prep
C Erica Eddy, Christ the King
3B Briana Emanuele, St. Francis Prep
P Priscilla Lallave, Francis Lewis
SS Samantha Lallave, Francis Lewis
RF Taylor Moss, Archbishop Molloy
C Kailan Luciano, Construction
3B Shannon Minihane, Mary Louis
C Taylor Moy, Bayside
SS Amy Pirozek, Construction
SS Krystle Roldan, Cardozo
CF Ashley Torres Littwin, Bryant
C Daysia Wheder, Cardozo
C Lisa Wiggins, Forest Hills