EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Led by super freshman Cassandra McGrath, the Tuckahoe varsity softball team has surprised some by following one of the most successful seasons in program history with the top seed as they continue their Class B playoff run on Thursday.
A year ago, the varsity squad enjoyed an undefeated regular season, but expectations were tempered this year by the loss of seven seniors who were key contributors to the team that fell to Haldane 5-3 in the championship.
This year, on a roster loaded with underclass talent, the team was undefeated in league play while compiling a 16-2 overall record and earning the number one seed, which has them poised to face the fourth-seeded Valhalla Vikings at 2 p.m. at home.
McGrath, who was unanimously voted the Player of the Year by the coaches in the league, has been a force on the mound and at the plate. She paced a potent offense with six home runs and a whopping 49 RBIs, while silencing bats on the mound, en route to a second straight season with more than 200 strikeouts.
The middle of the infield was the anchor on defense, while setting the pace at the top of the order for the sluggers batting behind them. Senior shortstop Laura Fitzpatrick has abused pitchers to the tune of a .475 batting average, while second baseman Alessia Conte has shown a slick glove and has handled lead-off duties this season while notching an on base percentage above .500.
With the speedsters getting on base in front of her, cleanup hitter Briana Nardone – who has been vital on defense behind the plate – clubbed five home runs and 38 RBI while hitting for a blistering .615 average.
The outfield of Daniela Pellegrini, Alyson Schultz and Erika Pelle, which first-year coach John McGrath called “the best in the league both offensively and defensively,” combined for more than 50 hits and nearly as many RBI.
McGrath added that “third baseman Jerilyn Bonfiglio has been solid at the hot corner and Jean Marie Castracucco has stepped in for the injured Katie Ferrone, providing stellar offense and defense.”
The Tuckahoe Tigers’ varsity girls lacrosse team was awarded several accolades for their performance this year.
All-league selections Cassie McGrath (captain) Daniela Pellegrini Alyson Schultz Laura Fitzpatrick (captain) Briana Nardone
All-section selections Cassie McGrath Briana Nardone
Player of the Year Cassie McGrath