By Laura Amato
It was a banner year for softball in Queens.
Archbishop Molloy led the way, clinching CHSAA Brooklyn-Queens and city championships this season with a mix of fresh-faced talent and on-field determination. The Mary Louis Academy also impressed, overcoming some early-spring miscues to make an appearance in the Brooklyn-Queens final.
In the PSAL, Construction once again set the tone, and while the Red Hawks came up short of their championship goal, the squad notched another title-game berth. The Scholars Academy clinched the ‘B’ city title, defeating John F. Kennedy in dramatic fashion.
Of course, none of that success would be possible without the players. Here they are, the best of the best from Queens this spring:
Player of the Year
Lizul Portugal, Sr., Construction
Coach of the Year
Maureen Rosenbaum, Archbishop Molloy
The long-time leader of the Stanners surprised everyone, including herself, as Molloy cruised through the competition this season. The young roster didn’t let its inexperience hinder its determination on the field, clinching a Brooklyn-Queens title, city championship and a berth to the New York State final. Now, with a year of success under their belt, Rosenbaum and Molloy already have their sights set on repeating next season.
Pitcher: Kelsey Carr, Fr., Archbishop Molloy
The first-year Stanners star didn’t let nerves get to her once during the season. In fact, Carr didn’t let much get to her this season, she just kept throwing strikes. The freshman was nothing short of dominant in the circle, posting a 15-4 record with 236 total strikeouts. She also excelled at the plate, where she notched a .478 average with 33 RBI.
Pitcher: Liz Hanover, Sr., The Mary Louis Academy
The Hilltoppers emotional leader on and off the field, Hanover battled an early-season injury to help lead her squad to a Brooklyn-Queens title berth. She tossed 56 innings, posting a 2.62 ERA with 47 strikeouts, and also found a rhythm at the plate, hitting .350 with 10 RBI. Hanover, who was named the Mayor’s Cup MVP, will head to Sacred Heart University next year.
Pitcher: Claudia Migliaccio, So., Construction
A multi-sport standout for the Red Hawks, Migliaccio does her best work in the circle. She went 12-1 in the regular season, posting a 1.68 ERA and striking out 102 batters in 75 innings of work. Of course, she was also strong outside the circle. Migliaccio hit .535 with a .649 on-base percentage during the regular season, racking up 27 RBI and striking out just six times.
Pitcher: Claire Bergerson, Sr., Baccalaureate School For Global Education
A four-year varsity player, Bergerson wrapped up her time on the diamond with a jam-packed stat sheet. She went 10-1 in the circle, striking out a whopping 105 batters in 61 innings of work. She added 14 more ‘K’s’ in 14 playoff innings. Bergerson also chipped in at the plate, hitting .737 this year with 53 RBI and seven home runs during the regular season.
Infield: Kaitlyn Stenz, Sr., Monsignor McClancy
A multi-sport standout for the Crusaders, Stenz wrapped up her high-school athletic career with a city championship. The co-captain hit .515, driving in 23 runs with 20 stolen bases. She’ll attend Molloy College next year.
Infield: Maia Cabrera, Sr., Forest Hills
Cabrera might be getting ready for life as a Division I soccer player at St. John’s next season, but she wrapped up her high-school career in dominant fashion. She finished second in the league with a .738 batting average, .761 on-base percentage and 1.595 slugging percentage. The multi-sport standout racked up 16 extra-base hits, including eight home runs, and struck out just once all year.
Infield: Unique Salas, Jr., Construction
A hard-hitting force at the plate, Salas was very productive this season. She finished in the top-10 in the league in runs, RBI and batting average, hitting .610 during the regular season. A patient presence in the box, Salas worked 12 walks this spring while waiting for her pitch – she also connected on six extra-base hits.
Infield: Samantha Merino, Sr., The Mary Louis Academy
The senior co-captain was an offensive force this season, batting .600 with three home runs, 20 RBI, 20 runs scored and 25 stolen bases. Merino was named the Hilltoppers MVP and earned a Mayor’s Cup nomination as well. She’ll head to Fairfield University next season.
Outfield: Alena Thompson, Sr., Francis Lewis
The long-time Patriots standout saved her best for last in her final season with the squad. Thompson posted a .525 batting average during the regular season, with a .604 on-base percentage and 20 runs scored. She connected on 21 hits, including three doubles, and added nine stolen bases in 13 games.
Outfield: Jazmin Andrews, Jr., St. Francis Prep
A consistent producer at the plate, Andrews led the Terriers in runs scored and hits this season, posting a .487 average. She also notched a .769 slugging percentage.
Utility: Sydnie Funaro, Jr., The Scholars Academy
Scholars’ roster was jam-packed with talent this season, but it was almost impossible to look past Funaro and her stats. She hit a blistering .783 during the regular season, with an on-base percentage of .815 and, in 46 at-bats, drove in 45 runs. She didn’t slow down in the playoffs, connecting on nine hits in 14 at bats with seven more RBI.
Catcher: Kassanda Granobles, So,, Construction
A perfect match behind the plate for Migliaccio, Granobles was a wall at catcher this season. She also followed that up with a bit of her own offense. Granobles hit .686 with a blistering 1.286 slugging percentage during the regular season. She connected on 24 hits in 35 at-bats, including five home runs and struck out just two times.
Catcher: Jessica Hickey, Sr., Archbishop Molloy
A much-needed veteran voice on a young Stanners roster, Hickey was dominant behind the plate, settling into a pitch-perfect rhythm with Carr.
Hickey was also a strong presence at the plate, regularly connecting on hits in clutch situations. She finished the year with a Mayor’s Cup nomination.
Annie Dengler, Sr., The Scholars Academy
Megan Herry, So., Monsignor McClancy
Carla Hernandez, Sr., Forest Hills
Emily Hodgson, Sr., Construction
Jaylynn Sheppard, Sr., Construction
Samantha Bedosky, Sr., St. Francis Prep
Emily Casanova, Sr., Christ the King
Grace LaMalva, Sr., St. John’s Prep
Samantha Merino, Sr., The Mary Louis Academy
Gianna Petraglia, Sr., Archbishop Molloy
Alyssa Dominguez, So, Long Island City
Amber Rivera, Sr., Queens Vocational
Jenipher Rodriguez, Jr., Newtown
Zanaia Godette, So., John Bowne