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Around the Diamond with Dana Galgano

Oyster Bay starting pitcher Dana Galgano delivers to

Oyster Bay starting pitcher Dana Galgano delivers to the plate against Mineola in the Nassau softball game. (April 30, 2012) (Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Welcome to another installment of Around the Diamond.  Each week we’ll sit down with a local high school softball player and ask her a series of questions…some that relate to softball, some that don’t, and some that may even be slightly embarrassing.

If you'd like to be featured, e-mail me at michael.gavin@newsday.com, or message me on Twitter at @mgavinjr, or just come talk to me at a game. 

This week we feature Dana Galgano of Oyster Bay. As an eighth grader last season, she took over in the circle and helped lead Oyster Bay to the county championship series. This year she has gone 6-2, she has her team in position to enter the postseason as the favorite to win the Class B county championship and, as you’ll soon find out, she is kind of afraid of the dark.

Dana Galgano now takes us Around the Diamond…

Brag about yourself, what do you do well in the circle and at the plate?  “I’m really good at keeping my cool and not letting the pressure get to me.  I’m a pretty good hitter and rarely go down without a good fight.  I’ve been told I have a textbook swing.”

What's the best part of being a pitcher? “I always like to be doing something in a game, playing an active part and having some control over what happens.  Plus, I kind of like being in the spotlight having been a competitive figure skater for eight years.  My parents forced me to quit and play softball because it was costing a fortune.”

Why do you think your team can win a county title this season? “This year nine of our starters are travel players all playing for the Long Island Hellcats.  Plus our team has a lineup of great bats. There are no easy outs, everyone can really hit.”

What happened in your first varsity at-bat and/or pitching start?  “My first pitching start was last year as an eighth grader and I was really nervous because I felt so small and the batters seemed so huge.  It turned out that we moved up in conference so we were playing teams from much bigger schools, with much bigger kids. I must have looked like a baby standing there on the mound, but I tried to stay focused and just take one batter at a time.”  

What’s the most embarrassing song on your iPod? “’Blue Spanish Eyes’ by Engelbert Humperdinck because my Poppy always used to sing it to me when I was young because of my blue eyes.”

What's your favorite moment that you've had while playing for Oyster Bay?  “It wasn't a win, but it was a 2-0 loss in the county championships against Carle Place and Ashley Cole last year. Almost every other team was getting smoked by them and there I was, an eighth grader keeping them to a 2-0 lead and giving up only one earned run. The next game didn't end as well, but I was just happy to have the experience.”

Who's the most intimidating pitcher and hitter you've faced in high school softball?  "Pitcher would have to be Ashley Cole…Hitter would definitely be Lauren Sabatino who plays for Locust Valley, who can hit anything and hits the ball really hard.”

What's something your teammates would be surprised to learn about you? “That I’m very spiritual and I read a little bit from the bible each night before I go to sleep…and that I sleep with a nightlight.”

Who is your funniest teammate? “I’d have to say Danielle Gallagher, she’s always so happy and doing silly things that make us all laugh, especially when the pressure is on.”

Who is your shyest teammate? “My friend Ava Hanlon is pretty shy.  She was late to come out for the team and didn’t really know too many girls, but now that she is more comfortable and every sees her working so hard, she is starting to relax and talk a lot more.”

Who is your most competitive teammate? "My catcher Danielle Agostinello.  She’s one of our team captains, our number-four hitter and takes the game very seriously.  She is a senior and has played on varsity since she was a ninth grader.  She is going to play softball in college at Springfield University.  She has always taken care of me on the field and she is the type of player who knows the game well and can really get the team going.  I will really miss her next year.”

What are your pregame rituals or superstitions? “I need to wear these special gold socks that are a different color than the socks that the rest of team has because they are my lucky socks.  I also need to have my cross on and I can’t wear a headband. My hair has to be flying all over. I can't pitch with a headband on, it drives my mother nuts.”

What are some of the best nicknames for players on your team? “Sometimes my coaches call me, “Little Dane”.  We call our shortstop Caroline Kelly, “Ceek”; Danielle Agostinello, “D-girl”; Danielle Sugar, “Little Shuggs” and her older sister Joanna, “Shuggs”; Kelly McKeon, “Kellcat”, Brittany Wilson, “Badmouth” because she never curses; and Madison Albert, “Mad-e-son”; Michelle Morris, “Twinkle Toes”; and Olivia Agostinello, “O”.

What's your most embarrassing on-field moment? “The ball came loose while pitching during my backswing and went straight up in the air behind me and then hit the dirt with a girl on second base.  Lucky for me, the runner took off to steal third and my coach screamed, “three-three-three.”  So I picked up the ball and threw it to third and my third baseman tagged her out.”

What do you want to be when you grow up? “I’m not 100 percent sure yet, but I know I want to do something in the field of medicine and be involved with curing people from cancer.”

What TV shows are on your DVR? “Modern Family, Revenge, Ellen, The Bible, and Duck Dynasty.”

If you were the coach of your team for a day, what would you do? I would have a party bus pick us up from a short practice and take us for a nice, long lunch at Chipotle followed by ice cream sundaes.”

If you were President for a day, what would you do? “Sign into law a bill that would make doing sprints after practice illegal.”

If you could have dinner with any three people throughout history, who would they be? “I would love to have dinner with Channing Tatum, Fat Amy and Jesus.”