Alexis Bazos, Fox Lane: A power-hitting shortstop, with the ability to hit from both sides of the plate, Bazos signed a letter of intent to play for Notre Dame during her junior year last season. Fans should take notice of the senior while they have one more year left to watch her.
Kelly Dovi, Brewster: One of the most efficient hitters in the state last year, the shortstop batted .553 in her sophomore season en route to first-team all-state honors.
Kaylie Dymek, Valhalla: The reigning MVP of the prestigious James “Ace” Morabito tournament, the left-handed outfielder was a third-team all-state selection in her junior year for the Vikings last season.
Sara Herskowitz, Clarkstown South: The early frontrunner for Rockland player of the year honors, the Binghamton-committed catcher brings back her thunderous bat and stellar defensive skills for her senior year. Herskowitz was half of the Vikings’ first-team all-state battery, along with last year’s player of the year, Brianna Keaveney.
Cameron Lischinsky, Lakeland: An underrated talent, the junior second baseman has been quietly raking since freshman year. Lischinsky has batted .541 over the past two seasons, with only four hitless games.
Kayla McDermott, North Rockland: One of two returning “Elite 9” selections (Herskowitz), McDermott pitched the Red Raiders into the Class AA section final last year, where they should return this season. North Rockland could make a run at a state title behind the Manhattan-bound senior’s overpowering arm.
Angie Rizzi, Ursuline: Few players in the section have put up the kind of power numbers the LIU-bound senior shortstop has over the last two years. Rizzi, who also stole 19 bases last year, was a sixth-team all-state selection last season.
Megan Sneeden, Nyack: Another LIU-bound senior, Sneeden is seen by many as the second-best catcher in the section, behind Herskowitz. As evidenced by her libero skills on the volleyball court, Sneeden’s strength is in her defense, with a powerful arm and lightning-fast pop time behind the plate.
Emily Turilli, Pearl River: Although jumping into the role as a sophomore, Turilli was one of the best pitchers and hitters in the section last year. An ankle injury kept her sidelined for 10 games, but the right-hander was just as productive in her return as she was before missing time.
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Top 10 teams
1. North Rockland: The Red Raiders return a loaded team that includes four college-committed players (McDermott, Alicia Bertolino, Deangie Jimenez, Amanda Schweitzer), and all-section players Bella Chiorazzi and Victoria Alonso. North Rockland was the only Section 1 team to beat eventual champs and Class AA state semifinalist, Clarkstown South.
2. Pearl River: Nobody outside of the town of Pearl River predicted the Pirates’ success last year — returning to the Class A state semifinals after graduating a truckload of talent. Pearl River brings back potential all-section stars Caroline Alicandri, Meagan Woods, Julie Marsico, and player of the year candidate Turilli.
3. Ursuline: Not only did the Koalas have a successful year in the section last season at 13-4, but they did not graduate anyone. Rizzi headlines a talented group that includes all-state senior pitcher Val Cucci and all-section junior outfielder Kayla Castro, plus sluggers Catie Bradshaw and Sarina Campos.
4. Brewster: The Bears took a bit of a hit to graduation after falling to Pearl River in the section final and losing their undefeated season, but still remain in strong shape. Some of the power left with Emma Prinz, Jenna Sacchetti and Ally Coleman, but with Dovi and Taylor Riccardi back in the lineup and Makayla Koehler in the circle, the only bad news these Bears should bring is to opposing teams.
5. Lakeland: The Hornets lost only Alexandra Wright from last year’s 19-4 team and should be primed to make a deep run in Class A. Lakeland hit 28 home runs and drove in 231 runs a team, the bulk of both coming from current junior Amber Badillo (eight homers, 36 RBIs). The Hornets should sting more than a few teams this season.
6. Suffern: Much like Pearl River, the expectations surrounding Suffern were relatively low, but the Mounties ended up reaching the Class AA section semifinals after earning several quality wins along the way. Suffern returns a decent amount of talent from the team, most notably Allie Wood and Gabby Caccamo, who will handle most of the pitching responsibilities between the two of them.
7. John Jay-East Fishkill: The Patriots are probably still sore from a season-ending upset loss to Suffern in the Class AA quarterfinals. Junior pitcher Ally Mueller returns to the circle, and senior Sam Fitzgerald recently signed on to play at Dominican College next year.
8. Valhalla: Shocking doesn’t begin to describe the Vikings’ Class B section final loss to Rye Neck, a team it beat 18-1 earlier in the year. Fortunately for head coach John Hayes and Co., Valhalla has plenty of arms and bats coming back to make another run at a section title. Alyssa Dolan will likely become the team’s ace with Sydni Holtz now over at NYU.
9. Ardsley: The Panthers graduated an all-section battery in Raina Gorman and Megan Canfield, but return most of their lineup. Nicolina Chenard, Marie McNerney and Michelle Macri, who batted 5-6-7, respectively, should provide some pop and move up in the order, while Danielle Scaperrotta may move into a leadoff of 2-hitter role due to her impressive speed.
10. Nanuet: The Golden Knights bring back everyone but all-star outfielder Alana Vezza from last year’s 14-8 squad. All-section senior shortstop Alana Prosapio and sophomore pitcher Oriana Castello highlight a deep Nanuet team that could make a splash in the section.
Keep an eye on
Eastchester, Harrison, John Jay, Rye Neck, Yorktown
Morabito Memorial tournament: May 7-8 at Mudville Softball Complex in Herkimer
Section 1 tournament: May 19-28 (finals at North Rockland H.S. on May 27-28)
NYSPHSAA championships: June 11 at Moreau State Park in Gansevoort
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