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Nassau softball preview

MacArthur's Kristen Brown watches her fly ball in

MacArthur's Kristen Brown watches her fly ball in the fifth inning. Earlier in the game, Brown hit an inside-the-park home run. (May 9, 2011) Credit: Kathy Kmonicek

CLASS AA

Last season was a prime example of how dominant softball pitchers can carry programs to new heights as teams such as Farmingdale and Kings Park captured Long Island championships.

MacArthur will look to capitalize on that trend with North Carolina-bound Kristen Brown. She's dangerous with a ball or bat in her hand. She went 10-1 with a 1.88 ERA and hit .448 with six home runs and 20 RBIs. The Generals are deep and balanced with UMass-bound shortstop Jena Cozza, Emily Lyons, Briana Lombardo and Kristen Gay.

County runner-up East Meadow returns shortstop Danielle Cutuli, Taylor Conti at third and sophomore batterymates catcher Madison West and pitcher Kerri Shapiro. Massapequa is led by Kim Giurlando, Danielle Gariglio and Rachel Sieber. Mepham has first-team All-State catcher Claudia Law, along with pitcher Toni Marie Valeriano, centerfielder Nicole Pazienza and third baseman Casey Thomas. Ashley Martin takes the ball for Long Beach, which also features Kelsey McLaughlin and Annie Winerip. Oceanside has a ground-ball pitcher in Ashley Davis and power-hitting catcher Nicole Milano. Outfielder Marcella Castellano leads a young Carey team. Syosset is led by all-county shortstop Liz Jacobsohn and pitcher Paula Janowsky.

Defending Long Island champion Farmingdale moves to Conference II and returns second-team All-State Kat Zabielski. The Stony Brook-bound power hitter shifts to third and Kerri Ossenfort takes over at short. Baldwin will put up runs behind pitcher Carly Mertens, who hits with power, and catcher Liza Ueno. Plainview is led by Katie Rutcofsky, Traci Lichtenstein and Laura Silver. Bellmore has senior pitchers Gabrielle Calia and Samantha Finkel.

Herricks tops Conference III with a strong defensive team led by shortstop Jessica Thomas and first baseman Erica Diaz. Valley Stream Central features Kayla Casucci and Heather Labarba.

 

CLASS A

Seaford, the defending county champion, will be without the injured Lindsay Montemarano for an unspecified time, but returns pitcher Hannah Spinola, shortstop Courtney Carbone and first baseman Caitlin Hewitt. Plainedge will contend with pitcher Kim Nowak and catcher Taylor Curran. Island Trees has a rising star in pitcher Alannah Basile, along with centerfielder Meghan Acton and shortstop Nicole Pellegrino. A healthy Sam Giovanniello could lead a young Floral Park back to the county final. Clarke's Sarah Cornell has the stuff to be the county's next dominant pitcher. New Hyde Park returns pitcher Lisa O'Callaghan. Bethpage is led by middle infielders Danielle Brusca and Breanna Black. North Shore has hard-throwing southpaw Lexi Marshall.

CLASS B

Defending Long Island champion Carle Place may be even better than last season, led by All-Long Island pitcher Ashley Cole, who has added velocity, and six-year catcher Leanne Iannucci, who hit more than .600. They are joined by shortstop and leadoff hitter Tori Hytell, centerfielder Taylor Ruscillo and sophomore first baseman Kaitlyn Davis. Locust Valley has strong 3-4 hitters with Nicole Rozzo and Lauren Sabatino.

 

CLASS C

Friends Academy and pitcher Paige Elgarten will battle East Rockaway and shortstop Kerrianne Vulpis for county supremacy.

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