Isabella Corrao isn’t one of those pitchers. She doesn’t seek to make herself oblivious during special feats; doesn’t wrestle awareness into a cobra clutch until it submits. Really, her superstardom supersedes superstition.
“Oh, I definitely think about it,” the Farmingdale starter said of her mind-set during no-hitters. “Once I’m a couple innings in, I know it and I want it. I’ll have a mentality going like, ‘Make sure it stays a no-hitter.’ ”
Strong mind. Strong arm. Two of the junior’s last five starts have been hit free. The others? A two-hitter and two one-hitters, including a 5-0 win over Baldwin yesterday. “She’s been hitting the corners, mixing her pitches well and keeping everyone off guard,” coach Laura Malone said.
With a loaded repertoire (fastball, curveball, screwball, riser, changeup and drop) and “equal” comfort with all of them, she has no go-to pitch and her sequences are unpredictable.
And it’s led to the team’s turnaround. Farmingdale started 2-3, including bad losses to Plainedge, East Meadow and Long Beach, and had a win over Mepham in which the Dalers yielded six runs. Some of that was fielding. Much of that was the Dalers being the new kids in Conference I, having just made the jump from III . . . because of Corrao.
Last winter she transferred from St. Dominic (“for many personal reasons”), where in two seasons she compiled a dossier of dominance that even rivaled her friend Olivia Galati’s. Last season the two-time All-Long Islander had a 0.28 ERA with 258 strikeouts in the CSHAA. She adapted to the new school with the help of her teammates, she said, but the switch from the CHSAA to Nassau’s most elite conference wasn’t easy.
“It’s tougher,” said Corrao, who has 122 strikeouts. “It’s very different because there’s a lot more divisions and more competition.” The turning point, she said, was the no-hitter in a 1-0 win over Oceanside on April 13, when Victoria Kornfeld’s fielder’s choice scored Kristie Summus in the seventh. “That was huge for us, momentum wise” Corrao said. “The team is getting adjusted to the competition up here and so am I.” Soon, if not already, Nassau will have to adjust to her. “We have a young team and it’s sort of a two-year plan,” Malone said. “But I think ’Bella will carry us .”