I’m gonna go ahead and call Correy Denihan the Mike Piazza of Nassau softball. Before we go further, here are the catcher’s numbers: .500 average with a .676 on-base percentage, a league-leading six home runs and 25 RBIs through nine games.
You know it’s something when midway through a season, you can say, “If she stopped right now, those would be really impressive totals for the whole year.” And it’s helped lift (launch) Friends Academy to a 9-0 start, two games ahead of North Shore.
Denihan was a transfer student last year and played left field. She was “good,” coach Christine Botti said, but this year she has taken it to a different level… stratosphere. The switch to catcher was out of necessity and she’s handled it as well as could’ve been asked. But back to the offense:
“We’re happy every time she goes up to the plate,” said Botti, who admits she didn’t expect the junior to hit with this much power. “We always just hope there's runners on because there's a chance she'll do something big.”
What makes her so good? She makes consistent contact and “always hits the ball solidly.”
And, not to be outdone, sophomore Paige Elgarten was been on fire in the circle lately. She’s thrown two no-hitters in the last week and pitched a one-hitter against Roosevelt in the Quakers’ last game.
Elgarten is the team’s only pitcher, so her record matches the team’s and her nine wins leads the county. But early on, she struggled with control and the Quakers had to win some football-score games. But her ERA is now 3.95 and dropping, thanks to her improved pitch placement. She’s proficient with the fastball/changeup combination, but she’s been working on incorporating the curveball and drop.
“It's given her and the team a lot of confidence,” the coach said of Elgarten’s recent surge. “They're all supportive of each other and that makes them good. Paige knows that if the ball is put in play, the girls will field it and they know that she can get the job done.”
Be on the lookout: Beat notes will make its triumphant return to this Sunday’s paper. It’d taken a sabbatical the last couple weeks because of the spring previews and All-Long Island spreads for winter sports, but they will be in going forward. That means more softball items in the paper. So if you’ve got anything you want to submit it to us or point out, shoot us an e-mail. That goes for coaches and kids. Even if it's off-topic or odd, if it's interesting, we wanna hear about it. If you have a pet aardvark who throws you batting practice in the backyard, we really wanna know. This week’s Nassau note will be on Isabella Corrao’s transition from pitching in the Catholic League to now starring for Farmingdale. No, she doesn't have a strange pet who pitches to her in batting practice. Still pretty interesting, though.