Meet Newsday's 2012 All-Long Island softball team, as selected by Mike Gavin and Evan Korn.
Long Island Player of the Year
MacArthur, P/SS, senior
It was the ultimate sign of respect for a feared power hitter like Kristen Brown. Late in the season, teams began dropping their second baseman into deep right field during her at-bats.
Holding her to a single was a willing concession as long as it minimized the risk of the 250-foot alternative. Yet even with the “Kristen Brown Shift” in effect during the playoffs, she still managed to hit one where the outfielders couldn’t reach it for one of her many home runs this season.
“I didn’t even know that was allowed,” Brown said of the shift. “I still had the same mentality at the plate and just kept hitting the ball as hard as I could. It was definitely a sign of respect. It built up my confidence.”
The North Carolina-bound shortstop, who struck out only once in 84 at-bats, set career highs with a .583 average, a Long Island-best 16 home runs (nobody else hit more than 11) and 46 RBIs, while playing in Nassau’s top ability-based conference.
In the circle, Brown went 9-4 with a 2.85 ERA and pitched the Generals to their first county title since 2004 and first Long Island championship since 1988.
But her bat played a larger role in MacArthur’s success. Just ask the opposing second basemen.
Suffolk Player of the Year
Hauppauge, SS, senior
The Delaware State-bound Hawthorne essentially rewrote the Eagles record book this season, setting single-season records in batting average (.635), OBP (.684), runs (33), hits (54), doubles (16), RBIs (43) and slugging percentage (1.094).
Hawthorne, a leadoff hitter, entered the season having never hit a home run but finished with five this season. On April 18 against Newfield, she went 5-for-5 and hit for the cycle.
Hawthorne became the school’s all-time hits leader with her 149th career hit on April 17, and finished with 187. It’s one of an astounding 26 school records that she holds, including runs (147) and RBI (100).
Island Trees, P, senior
The sophomore went 18-3 with a 1.46 ERA, held opponents to a .145 batting average and led top-seeded Island Trees to the county championship series. She also hit .375 with five home runs and 22 RBIs.
Carle Place, P, senior
The Susquehanna-bound pitcher went 19-3 with a 0.37 ERA, 13 shutouts, 297 strikeouts and only eight walks. Her second perfect game of the season came in the county championship series, as she led Carle Place to a third straight title.
MacArthur, CF/SS, junior
Her coach calls her the most athletic person to ever walk through the doors at MacArthur. Cozza hit .419 with five home runs and 24 RBIs.
Bay Shore, P, junior
Suffolk’s Large School Pitcher of the Year, she went 19-1 with a 1.32 ERA and struck out 157 batters in 111 innings. DeVito also batted .406 and struck out only once in 69 at-bats.
Longwood, CF/SS, senior
A leadoff hitter extraordinaire, the Delaware State-bound Gazzola batted a team-leading .485 (.560 OBP) with 34 runs, 20 RBIs and only three strikeouts. She helped lead the Lions to the Suffolk Class AA championship series.
Floral Park, P, senior
The Georgetown-bound Giovanniello went 13-6 with a 1.05 ERA, including a no-hitter where she struck out 26, and hit .603 with six home runs, 22 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. She finishes as one of Long Island’s best pitchers with a 75-20 career record and 1,040 strikeouts.
Mepham, C, senior
Dangerous whether she’s up at the plate or behind it. The Fordham-bound catcher hit .455 with four home runs and 10 RBIs, made only three errors, and shut down opposing running games on the basepaths.
Kellenberg, P, senior
The Wesleyan-bound pitcher threw shutouts in the state semifinal and final, and was named CHSAA Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season. She allowed just four earned runs in 76 innings pitched, and finished 11-0 with a 0.37 ERA.
Kellenberg, C, senior
Named the CHSAA Player of the Year for the second straight season, Pisciotta hit .385 with three home runs and 16 RBIs. The Stony Brook-bound catcher called every game and handled a staff of three pitchers for the CHSAA state champions.
Sayville, P, senior
Selts tossed four postseason shutouts as the Golden Flashes won their first Long Island championship since 2003, and first state title in program history. She threw a three-hit shutout in the state semis against Cornwall, and clinched the Class A Suffolk title against East Hampton with consecutive shutouts.
Commack, C, senior
A three-time All-County selection, she posted a .563 average and .622 OBP while driving in 18 runs and tagging a school-record 40 hits. For the second consecutive season, she struck out zero times. Will play her collegiate ball locally at LIU Post.
Bay Shore, C, junior
A dynamic two-way talent, she batted .553 with a six home runs, 30 RBIs and 18 walks, and showed off her strong arm with trademark snap throws. Led the Marauders to an undefeated regular season, and has already committed to Ole Miss.
Nassau Coach of the Year
Guided the Firebirds, who haven’t lost a league game since 2010, to a second straight league title, a 29-0 season and the first state title in the 25-year history of the program.
Suffolk Coach of the Year
Led a Golden Flashes (23-4) roster that blended veterans and youngsters to the first state title in program history.
2012 ALL-LONG ISLAND SOFTBALL SECOND TEAM
Courtney Blake, East Islip, Pitcher, Sr. (pictured)
Michelle Carbone, St. Anthony’s, P/1B, Jr.
Francesca Casalino, Half Hollow Hills West, Pitcher, Soph.
Alyssa Colletti, Clarke, SS, Sr.
Ashley Davis, Oceanside, P, Sr.
Dolores Diemicke, Plainedge, 1B, Jr.
Danielle Gariglio, Massapequa, SS, Jr.
Tiana Giuliano, Babylon, Pitcher, Sr.
Leanne Iannucci, Carle Place, C, Sr.
Kira Karl, Sayville, Third Base, Sr.
Krista King, Kellenberg, 2B, Soph.
Faith Laudano, Islip, Catcher, Sr.
Kayla McCoy, Smithtown West, Shortstop, Jr.
Kim Nowak, Plainedge, P, Sr.
Gianna Panariello, Bay Shore, Shortstop, Jr.
Sabrina Riley, Deer Park, Shortstop, Jr.
Tori Tedeschi, Island Trees, 3B, Jr.
Madison West, East Meadow, C, Soph.
Kat Zabielski, Farmingdale, 3B, Sr.
Lindsey Zenk, East Islip, Shortstop, Sr.
The 2012 Newsday All-Long Island softball team.
Front row:, from left: Sam Giovanniello - Floral Park, Kristen Brown - MacArthur, Jena Cozza - MacArthur, Susan Pardo - Kellenberg.
Middle row, from left: Ken Conrade - Kellenberg coach, Michelle DeVito - Bay Shore, Courtney Syrett - Bay Shore, Merissa Selts - Sayville, Paige Swantek - Commack, Tiffany Rowan - Sayville coach.
Back row, from left: Claudia Law - Mepham, Alannah Basile, Island Trees, Nicole Gazzola - Longwood, Sandy Hawthorne - Hauppauge.