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Massoni can't wait to showcase her skills

MacArthur pitcher Ashley Massoni throws against Clarence during

MacArthur pitcher Ashley Massoni throws against Clarence during a New York state softball Class AA semifinal in Queensbury, N.Y. (June 9, 2012) Credit: Tim Roske

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. -- Ashley Massoni will be the ace for MacArthur next season. So she intends to spend her offseason on the couch and in front of a mirror.

To clarify, she practices the spin on her pitches by throwing a softball into her couch and she studies her delivery by winding up in front of a mirror.

But Saturday the Generals got a look at her pitches and delivery, as well as a glimpse into their future, during their 9-5 loss to Clarence in the state Class AA semifinals in Queensbury.

Massoni entered in the top of the fourth inning with MacArthur trailing 9-2 and tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief, allowing one hit and one walk with two strikeouts.

The sophomore went 5-1 during the regular season while splitting duties with seniors Kristen Brown and Briana Lombardo, but hadn't pitched since May 4. As the season wound down, the ball went primarily to Brown, who pitched MacArthur to its first Long Island championship since 1988.

"I haven't pitched in a while, but I tried my hardest and went out there confident," Massoni said. "I'm excited for next season. It's my time."

Massoni says that, rather than pound the strike zone, she likes to move the ball around and keep it off the plate in hopes of making batters miss. Those who will be playing behind her next season feel confident putting the ball in her hands.

"She's a really good pitcher," junior shortstop Jena Cozza said. "I think she gives us a good chance of winning counties again and maybe even coming back here for states."

Massoni also got a vote of confidence from Brown, her predecessor who is moving on to North Carolina.

"She has great control, great movement, good speed," Brown said. "I'm glad to pass the ball off to her. She has all the tools."

Like a softball, a couch and a mirror.

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