Newsday's high school writers keep you updated on the big games and stories in high school softball.
Q&A: Floral Park's Samantha Giovanniello
MSG Varsity The Magazine had its spring preview photo shoot at Newsday on Wednesday night, and we did some quick interviews with the athletes who’ll be appearing on the magazine cover next month.
Representing softball is Floral Park senior Samantha Giovanniello.
The pitcher won Long Island championships in her freshman and sophomore years (and the Class A state title in 2009), but an elbow injury limited her last year. Giovanniello sat out some games to rest the arm during the middle of the season, and returned for the playoffs, but the Knights lost in the Nassau semifinals. After the season, she had surgery to remove bone spurs for the elbow.
How are you physically? “I started pitching again two weeks ago, coming off the surgery, but it feels great and I’m throwing every other day. No problems so far, thank goodness… The doctors said I’m good to go and that even if I do experience some discomfort, I can’t do any more damage to my arm, so that’s good to hear.”
When did the elbow first become an issue? “It was the summer the year before  in travel ball when I started feeling it. That winter I rested it, but when I got into the spring season, it was hurting more. I had to sit out and rest.”
Optimism for this season: “We’ve got a young team, but there’s definitely talent there that can be developed through the season. As soon as we get some experience and get our confidence up, we’ll be fine.”
Seaford dethroned Floral Park as Nassau champion last season, so going into this year… “We had that Floral Park/Seaford rivalry for a while, and then Plainedge became really good the last couple years. But now Seaford is great again, so it’s like we’re reviving that old rivalry. That’ll be fun.”
Getting back to the level she and her team were on: “That’s big for me, personally, and as a team, myself and the rest of the seniors really want to get back to states. That’s a goal for us. And some of the younger girls, they haven’t been up there before and it’s something they’d like to accomplish.”
Playing at Georgetown: “I’m definitely excited. I won’t be pitching, I’ll be playing middle infield (shortstop). It’s a change of pace. I’ve been pitching for all these years, but I really love shortstop.”