Pitcher Erin Caputo and second baseman Allie Cain return to Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA champion St. John the Baptist, which made the state semifinals.
Caputo was 12-2 in the regular season with an ERA below 1.00 for the Cougars in her first full season as a starter. Aside from Cain's batting prowess (she hit .361), she's a clutch hitter and born leader. She brings the kind of intangibles to the table every championship team needs. Her defense at second is a key. Standout rightfielder Ryan Quick brings her strong arm behind the plate this year and has been catching on a travel team to prepare. She slugged .818 with two homers last year. All three are senior captains.
Runner-up St. Anthony's boasts a strong core, led by pitcher Michelle Carbone, and returns all but one starter. Carbone went 16-3 with a 0.96 ERA on the way to being named Pitcher of the Year in the CHSAA. She had 116 strikeouts and 21 walks in 135 innings, hit .469 and led the team in RBIs with 29. Senior captain Marilyn Freeman hit .411 and was all-CHSAA.
After a second-place finish last season, Kellenberg will field a young team led by senior shortstop Jacqueline Marino, a singles and doubles hitter who is a difficult out, and junior catcher Alexandra Pisciotta, a line-drive hitter who hit .474.
Our Lady of Mercy features the CHSAA co-Pitcher of the Year in junior Sam Sauer, who has great location and a strong rise on her fastball, and a solid middle infield with seniors Stephanie Viggiano at shortstop and Jessica Schild at second base.
Sacred Heart features a mix of returning players, including senior second baseman Christina Gandino and junior first baseman Jane Tardo, and new faces such as freshman catcher Ashley Messler and sophomore pitcher Kaitlin Koste.
Holy Trinity is balanced and solid one through nine, led by senior shortstop Samantha Piscione and junior first baseman Jordan Catalano. Senior Kayla Rizzi, who features a devastating changeup, has a strong defense behind her.
It could be a bounce-back season for St. Dominic behind senior third baseman Vicky Lane, junior centerfielder Sabrina Gordek and talented up-and-comers Amanda Finn, a sophomore pitcher who can mix it up, and Tony Anne Pasqueralle, a sophomore catcher and leadoff hitter who is quick on her feet.