2008-04-18 / Sports

Stella Maris Surge Past St. John's Prep

By Elio Velez

The St. John's Prep softball team made the long crosstown journey from Astoria to Fort Tilden on Tuesday trying to erase a streak that they haven't been proud of.

Host Stella Maris knew what was at stake. For a young squad who struggled out of the gate at 0-5, Lady Flippers coach Jim DeAngelo knew that he didn't want his team to experience a back-breaking moment.

DeAngelo's fears of a loss to a St. John's Prep team who haven't won in eight years were quelled by a potent Stella Maris offensive attack. Megan Moreno pitched five innings and allowed four runs and was helped by an offense that pounded St. John's Prep for a 16-4 victory.

"I don't know what I would have done," DeAngelo said if his team had lost to their opponent.

St. John's Prep scored two runs in the top of the first inning but the Lady Flippers responded by putting up six of their own in the bottom half.

Katie Gil was one of three players in the inning who recorded singles that knocked in runners. They were also aided by plenty of walks from St. John's Prep pitchers. 13 walks in total gave Stella Maris a victory which was sorely needed according to the DeAngelo.

Stella Maris won on Tuesday and defeated St. John's Prep the next day to improve to 2-5. Winning is a nice respite from an early struggle in which they lost the first five games of the Brooklyn/Queens campaign. It's a different team on the field than in years past. There are eight new players and six of them are starting on the field.

Gone are the stalwarts who lifted Stella Maris to the playoffs in three straight years and an appearance in the Brooklyn/Queens CHSAA championship in 2006. DeAngelo, who is in his fourth year coaching the varsity team, rattles off the names of former players who will be missed. Starting pitcher Alexa Rosella graduated and sadly broke her right wrist during a practice with the Concordia College team this spring and is out for the season.

Nicole Rescigno provided stability behind the plate and centerfielder Alyce Miraglia, who attends John Jay College, provided speed in the top of the order. But DeAngelo doesn't focus on the past. He's trying to mold a new team together and possibly get a couple of leaders to emerge in the next few years.

The few upperclassmen that remain will help in the transition. Stella Maris will have senior third baseman Alyssa Rich to anchor the infield. Fellow seniors and Caitlin Dasaro and Caitlin Garafalo will be the top two pitchers.

DeAngelo would like to see further improvement and a future leader emerge. One example he gives is the praise to former outfielder Jackie Frank, whose leadership provided a winning edge as the Lady Flippers reached but would lose the title game to St. Francis Prep in 2006.

Once they get adjusted to a tough Brooklyn/Queens Division and learn their lessons from playing top teams like Archbishop Molloy, Mary Louis Academy and St. Francis Prep, DeAngelo will get a better idea where his team is headed.

"They got to get used to playing with each other, they may be nervous and I'm a bit nervous with them. But they'll get it and they'll learn to play with each other," DeAngelo said. "Every school goes through a learning curve or a growth spurt and that's what we are going through now."

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