2009-05-15 / Sports

Beach Channel Softball Brings Back That Winning Feeling

By Elio Velez

With her arms folded around her head Beach Channel pitcher Christina Salinas (right) talks with her teammates. Photo by Peter Borriello. With her arms folded around her head Beach Channel pitcher Christina Salinas (right) talks with her teammates. Photo by Peter Borriello. Despite a 19-15 defeat to Queens High School of Teaching last Wednesday afternoon, the Beach Channel Lady Dolphins softball team have benefited from the move back to the PSAL B Division.

With a renewed winning attitude this spring, the move has worked out well for second-year coach Laurie Harris and her Lady Dolphins. They are currently in fourth place in the Queens B1 with an 8-6 record. With a makeup game against Far Rockaway on Monday, a win or loss will still assure Beach Channel of a spot in the post-season.

Considering they've had three consecutive losing campaigns, Harris is excited that her team will compete in the post-season later this month. She's seen her team work hard on and off the f

"They are psyched, they are incredibly psyched," Harris said. I have a good bunch of girls. They're scholars. I have scholar-athletes on this team."

The last three years have been a losing proposition since the days when former coach Robert Attonito guided the Dolphins to the PSAL B championship in 2005 before losing to Richmond Hill.

The promotion to the A Division the next year illserved Beach Channel. They had lost most of their top players due to graduation and against tougher competition, fell to 2-12 in 2006.

The next two years weren't any easier. The team recorded consecutive 0-16 seasons and it pushed the PSAL to demote Beach Channel to the Queens B1 Division.

Harris said the early part of the season was used to find which players could best play their positions. Beach Channel won their first game in two years on March 31 with an 11-9 victory over Robert F. Kennedy.

They are a slugging team, recording six of their victories this season by scoring 10 or more runs.

Janiece Hill moved from the pitching mound to catcher and has hit .426 and stolen 13 bases. Patricia Buccellato is hitting .500 in 50 at bats in centerfield.

Christina Salinas returned to the lineup in April after tearing her ACL in her right knee while playing on the girls' basketball team last November. Her addition added stability to the lineup.

She also became the team's starting pitcher, recording 6 wins while also hitting .444 and driving in 10 RBI.

Salinas made the effort to return to the team, despite initial reports from her doctor saying she might not return to the softball team this season. One of eight seniors on the team, Salinas didn't want to end her high school career on a losing note.

"I can say that these girls are trying than any other year. These girls are loud I can tell you that," Salinas said. "It's easier to play people at our level. Now we can play them at this level, we're winning now and it makes us feel better."

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