Meet Newsday's All-Long Island softball team for the 2019 spring season.
LI Player of the Year: Jenna Laird, East Meadow, SS, Jr.
With Laird at the top of the East Meadow lineup, coach Stew Fritz believes the Jets can basically start an inning with an advantage: "You're almost always going to start with a runner on second base," he said.
Laird led a potent East Meadow team to its third straight Long Island Class AA championship, hitting .600 (.646 in the regular season) with 46 runs scored, 23 RBIs, 14 extra-base hits and 18 for 18 in stolen base attempts, to be named Newsday's Player of the Year.
"She's explosive right off the bat," Fritz said. "She's probably one of the fastest players in the league. She can do everything. She can bunt, she can slap, she can hit and hit for power. She never stops working to make herself better."
The shortstop, committed to the University of Missouri, has the speed and ability to slap the ball, but also drive to gaps defending on how the defense plays her.
"You can't move the defense in any particular way," Fritz said. "If you lead the defense to guard against the bunt, she'll hit it right by you. If you move the second baseman over to defend the slap, she'll hit the ball in the hole. She does everything she can to put her team in a position to win."
Suffolk Player of the Year: Keren Hodulick, Islip, C, Jr.
She changes the concept of scoring position for Islip coach Dennis McSweeney.
McSweeney said he often likes to bunt and move runners over, but not when Hodulick is at the plate. "My assistant coach has to remind me a runner on first with Keren up is a runner in scoring position," he said.
Hodulick hit .600 with 9 home runs, 22 extra-base hits and 41 RBIs and a 1.125 slugging percentage to be named Newsday's Suffolk Player of the Year. She led Islip to the Suffolk Class A championship game.
McSweeney said even though he would have called Hodulick the best player on the team last season, he still thought she was the most improved player this year.
"This year, she came out and had a much more mature approach at the plate and honestly coming off being our best player last year, she was our most improved this year," McSweeney said. "She was picking people off bases, she just became a much smarter player defensively. And offensively, she had one of the best seasons I've been a part of."
Brianna Castro, Holy Trinity, SS, Sr.
She hit .463 with four home runs and 14 extra-base hits with 18 RBIs, 15 runs scored and six stolen bases while playing a strong defensive shortstop for the Titans. She will play at the University at Buffalo.
Emily Chelius, East Rockaway, P, Sr.
The five-year varsity player led the Rocks to their fourth straight Long Island title, and first Class B state title. She had a 1.04 ERA and 0.93 WHIP with a 240 strikeouts in 168 innings, including a one-hitter in the Long Island Class B championship and a no-hitter in the county final. She will play at SUNY Fredonia.
Taylor Eggert, Kings Park, P, Sr.
The hard-throwing righthander had 243 strikeouts in 136 2/3 innings with a 1.79 ERA. She also had a stretch of three straight no-hitters this season, including a perfect game. She will play at Adelphi.
Julia Golino, Mount Sinai, P, Sr.
She had a 0.87 ERA with a 0.86 WHIP and 205 strikeouts in 123 innings, including four no-hitters, a perfect game and six shutouts for the Mustangs. She hit .535 with a 1.171 OPS and 10 extra-base hits, 25 RBIs and 28 runs scored. She will play at SUNY Plattsburgh.
Maddie Gallagher, Port Washington, SS, Jr.
A strong offensive and defensive shortstop with tremendous power, she hit .575 with eight home runs, 21 RBIs, 15 runs scored and 17 of her 23 hits during the season went for extra-bases. She had a .633 on-base percentage, 1.475 slugging percentage and a 2.108 OPS.
Amy Mallah, East Meadow, 3B, Sr.
With the defensive ability to take away just about as many runs as she drives in, she hit .514 with 11 home runs, 44 RBIs and 34 runs scored for the Long Island Class AA champions. She had a 1.147 slugging percentage and 1.715 OPS and will play at St. John's University.
Brianna Morse, Mepham, 2B, Jr.
The versatile defender was one of the most feared hitters in the county. She led the Pirates to their first Nassau A championship according to coach Brenda Dolan, and hit .623 during the regular season with 17 RBIs. She also hit .563 with five RBIs in the playoffs.
Julianna Sanzone, East Meadow, OF, Jr.
Sanzone had two home runs in the county final and another in a Long Island Class AA championship victory for the Jets. She hit .588 with six home runs, 35 RBIs and 32 runs scored on the season and added a .623 on-base percentage and 1.669 OPS.
Destiny Schook, North Babylon, SS, Sr..
She hit .653 with 24 runs scored, 17 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, while only striking out two times and committing one error.
Erin Steinert, St. Anthony’s, P/1B, Sr.
Steinert had a 14-5 record with a 2.16 ERA. She was 5-0 with a 0.92 ERA during the Friars' run to its first CHSAA state championship, coach Mike Massa said. She also hit .417 with a .526 on-base percentage and 30 RBIs.
Julia Tarantino, Kellenberg, P, Jr.
She led the Firebirds to a 17-win season and the top seed entering the CHSAA playoffs with a 1.54 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 91 1/3 innings pitched. She also had a .375 batting average.
Elizabeth Yoskowitz, Sayville, 2B, Soph.
Yoskowitz hit .622 with 46 runs scored and 41 stolen bases for the Long Island Class A champions. She added 20 RBIs and had a .988 fielding percentage. She also had the tying RBI single in the seventh inning of the Long Island Class A championship and scored the winning run in a 3-for-4 performance.
Nassau Coach of the Year: Brenda Dolan, Mepham
She guided the Pirates to their first county title, Nassau Class A.
Suffolk Coach of the Year: Mike Massa, St. Anthony's
He led the Friars to their first CHSAA state title.
All-Long Island second team
Juliet Bernstein, Baldwin, C, Sr.
Anna Butler, Seaford, P, Soph.
Madi Casale, Bayport-Blue Point, C, Sr.
Stephanie Conrade, Kellenberg, OF, Sr.
Jazmine Cuffie, Bay Shore, 3B, Jr.
Lauren Crawford, East Islip, 2B, Jr.
Lisa Fabig, MacArthur, C, Sr.
Olivia Howes, Massapequa, 3B, Sr.
Emmi Katz, Commack, P, Soph.
Melissa Marchese, Shoreham-Wading River, C, Sr.
Jess Mauro, MacArthur, P, Fr. (pictured)
Kayleigh Olsen, Longwood, C, Jr.
Jill Palmeri, Lindenhurst, 3B, Sr.
Riley Piromalli, Whitman, P, Sr.
Samantha Rieb, Bellport, P, Jr.
Jess Roberts, St. Anthony's, OF, Jr.
Dani Roselli, Division, 1B/IF, Sr.
Alexa Sacripante, St. John the Baptist, C, Jr.
Catherine Stanford, Oceanside, OF, Jr.
Jaden Thompson, Mattituck, 3B, Sr.