St. John the Baptist's Erin Caputo will help fill the...

St. John the Baptist's Erin Caputo will help fill the void left by the graduation of Olivia Galati. (Mar. 27, 2010) Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

Once dominated by pitching, the CHSAA could see an explosion in offense this season, partly because of key departures, but also because of a major rule change.

The league's three best pitchers are gone: St. John the Baptist lost Olivia Galati to graduation, as did Holy Trinity with Megan Butterworth, and All-Long Islander Isabella Corrao transferred from St. Dominic to Farmingdale. In addition, the CHSAA agreed to move the pitching circle from 40 feet back to 43 feet.

"That's obviously going to affect the pitching," Holy Trinity coach Denise Desantis said. "I think going forward, it's going to be more about offense and which teams are most solid all-around."

Added Kellenberg coach Ken Conrade: "There's going to be tremendous parity in the league and everything is up for grabs . . . Now it will really be a team game."

St. Anthony's has a very young group, returning only four players from last season. Michelle Carbone is emerging as a good pitcher early this season, but the Friars will be employing a "hitting by committee" approach for the most part. Nicole Parkas, a returning all-league third baseman, is a patient hitter and Joanna Chalifoux is a power-hitting lefty catcher.

St. John the Baptist, the defending state champion, has a major hole to fill with the graduation of Galati. Erin Caputo, 5-0 last season, is capable. Offensively, the scrappy Cougars will play small ball.

Holy Trinity, which lost in the semifinals to St. John the Baptist, will be in the mix with third baseman Avree Morton. Junior pitcher Kayla Rizzi, who was 6-1, replaces Butterworth.

Kellenberg, which finished tied for third in the league, returns senior pitcher Emily Barnable and infielder Victoria Sindone (.436 on-base percentage), and added shortstop Jaqueline Marino, who will bat third.

St. Dominic, which reached the final, will also be without catcher Brianny Anghel (transfer to East Meadow). First baseman Molly Geary and centerfielder Sabrina Gordek will lead the offense and sophomore Brianna Losquardo will take the circle. Sacred Heart will also be competitive. Our Lady of Mercy is a team on the rise.

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