LEANNE IANNUCCI Carle Place, Catcher, Junior Hit clean-up the past...

Carle Place, Catcher, Junior
Hit clean-up the past three seasons and thrives with runners in scoring position. Also makes few mistakes behind the plate, finishing last season with a .929 fielding percentage.

Credit: Newsday/Jessica Rotkiewicz

Carle Place catcher Leanne Iannucci suffered a dislocated finger in the Long Island Championship game against Babylon on Tuesday. With Iannucci departing in the fourth inning, Carle Place went on to win 2-0 to advance to the regional semifinals against Rhinebeck, which was being played later in the day.

Iannucci returned from the hospital in between games and played in the second game with her finger in a splint. A look at the sequence of events:

-- Hits an RBI single to drive in the go-ahead run in the top of the fourth inning of the Long Island Championship game against Babylon.

-- Dislocates the middle finger on her catching hand in the bottom of the fourth after getting hit with a foul tip. Carted off the field and taken to Brookhaven Hospital.

-- X-rays show that the finger is not broken. Finger is numbed, popped back into place and placed in a splint.

-- Returns to Martha Avenue Field in Bellport and receives an ovation from her teammates.

-- After testing out her glove and having a catch, Iannucci returns behind the plate, with the splint located outside the glove, in the top of the second inning, in the flex position.

-- With two outs and the tying run on first base in the bottom of the seventh inning, Iannucci fouls off a few pitches before striking out in a gutsy at-bat.

Iannucci's reaction:

On the condition of her finger: “It’s fine. It was more of a shock when it happened. It didn’t really hurt, I just looked down and was in shock. I sat in the cart and I was more upset that I wasn’t going to be able to play and contribute. “

On the injury: “It was a foul tip and it came back and hit me in the hand. It just dislocated.”
My mom drove me to the hospital. I was hysterical, more mad than anything that it happened because there was nothing we could really do about it.”

On if she thought she would play: “I wasn’t sure because the doctors were kind of making me nervous saying, ‘We don’t want anything to permanently happen.’ As we got back, I was thinking about it and I had the splint on and I wanted to do whatever I could to help.

“When we started playing catch, I started to realize that I didn’t really need that finger to catch, I could just use my other three. Then I tried my bat later on and that was fine…It was a little awkward but you got to adjust.

“I just wanted to do whatever I could to help, but I couldn’t be more proud of how far we got.”

On swinging with injured finger: “I wasn’t thinking about it, I was just thinking about my at-bat and getting a base hit."

On the loss: “It’s disappointing, we all wanted it so badly. But we got this far and it’s nothing to be upset about. It was one of the best seasons, I’m proud of everything we accomplished.”

On next season: “Do it again, see how far we can get.”

Carle Place coach Chris Ceruti

On Iannucci injury after LIC: “It was a foul tip off her finger. Hopefully it’s not broken. It got dislocated but I told her I need her for another year. As much as she didn’t want to leave and wanted to stay and play, we’ll see how she’s doing.”

On Iannucci returning to play in Regionals: “It’s a tough ending to be in. It’s a lot of pressure on her knowing you can’t use one finger. She gave it her all and it’s something she’ll remember. I think we grow as people when we get in certain situations when it’s tough. Even if you don’t succeed, you learn from it, come back and do it again.

“How many kids with a dislocated finger would go get it fixed, come back and still be able to play? It shows a lot about the character of her, the depth of her.”

Carle Place’s Ashley Cole

On Iannucci playing injured: “It shows that she’s a phenomenal player. It takes a lot of heart to come back into a game once you get hurt. I didn’t expect her to come back.”

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