Mila Fiordalisi allowed only a two-out single in the first...

Mila Fiordalisi allowed only a two-out single in the first inning for St. Anthony’s (7-0) on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. Credit: James Escher

When Mila Fiordalisi steps into the circle, it can feel like a moral victory just getting the ball in play against her arsenal.

Fiordalisi struck out 10 as host St. Anthony’s defeated Massapequa, 12-0, in four innings of non-league softball on Tuesday. Sarah Bielski, Valentina Iula and Melissa Gordon each had multiple hits.

Fiordalisi pounded the zone in the top of the first, picking up two strikeouts. Emily Balducci had a two-out single, that would be the only hit for Massapequa (7-2).

“The first time around the order I’m really trying to gauge their bat speed and how their swing looks,” Fiordalisi said. “Is it better to attack high or low, can I disrupt their timing with something offspeed? Just trying to get a read on everyone.”

The senior retired the next six batters, five via the strikeout. Samantha Dodick walked to lead off the fourth before Fiordalisi struck out the next three to end the game.

Fiordalisi is one of six seniors for the Friars (7-0), a core that has captured three consecutive state CHSAA championships. The Cornell commit has now struck out 72 batters in 33 innings.

“This is a really special group,” Fiordalisi said. “We want to keep making a statement and a legacy for ourselves going forward.”

St. Anthony’s offered a glimpse into its future in the bottom of the first inning. Two batters after Iula drove in the game’s first run with a single, Makayla Martinez stepped up with the bases loaded and launched a bases-clearing triple into the gap, giving the Friars a 4-0 lead. Martinez is the lone freshman on St. Anthony’s roster.

“All the older girls push me to work harder because they know what I’m capable of,” Martinez said. “Being the youngest but trying to keep up with them, keeps me playing at a high level.”

Iula continued to do major damage for St. Anthony’s, driving in two runs with a two-out double in the second inning to give the Friars a 7-0 lead. In the third she laced another two-out double to bring in two more runs, bringing the St. Anthony’s lead to 12-0.

“Was definitely looking early in the count, so I could attack what I like,” Iula said. “Not getting into a hole so I can pick up those big hits for the team.”

Iula plays a big part in the Friars' offense, but her best attribute may be handling Fiordalisi’s blazing fastball.

“You’re really nothing without pitching and we have a great pitcher,” Iula said. “It definitely hurts to catch, I’ve been getting my thumb taped up all season. She’s (Fiordalisi) great, she’s an animal out there."


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