2010-04-09 / Sports

Lady Dolphins Aim For Division Softball Title

By Elio Velez

On the first day Dominic Stanco officially took over as the Beach Channel softball coach in March, he immediately saw a team who were eager to win ballgames.

That hunger and yearning has so far resulted in a strong start to the season for the Lady Dolphins. On the warmest day of the year on Wednesday, Beach Channel’s bats were as hot as the sun as they defeated hosts Far Rockaway, 23-3, in four innings.

As the team improved to 3-1 in the PSAL Queens B1 Division, the first year coach has been quite pleased by the hard work displayed on the field.

Stanco, who currently coaches the boys’ soccer team, and has previously helmed the girls’ soccer team, has had a good track record when taking over a program.

“I’ve always believed in the kids who choose to play with me. I believe in my soccer kids just like I will do the softball girls,” Stanco said.

Over 40 girls came out to practice with the team. While only four out of the 15 players return to the team with softball experience, the remainder of the roster is quickly learning how to play.

“I’m very passionate about everything I coach but the credit is with these kids. They go out there every day and play hard.”

The middle of the Beach Channel order has spurned on an offense that has scored 72 runs in their past three wins. Third baseman Lisa Natoli went 5-for-5 and drove in 7 RBI against Far Rockaway. Amanda Martinez drove in 7 RBI and senior catcher Mary Finger had two hits and scored four runs.

Jessica Lacon pitched a complete game to win her third victory of the year.

Finger has seen with her own eyes the excitement her team has to take the field, especially with the first year players.

“He [Stanco] has high expectations and we expect that,” Finger said. “There were girls who showed up that couldn’t throw a ball, couldn’t hit and now they’re hitting bombs to the outfield. It’s a real big improvement.”

Natoli has enjoyed some success of her own. She has hit for the cycle this season and recorded an unassisted triple play on the field. But individual success doesn’t mean as much as the team’s belief they can be one of the top teams in the division. Despite losing to Queens High School of Teaching, the reigning PSAL champions, 16-6 in the first game of the season, Natoli thinks her team is just getting better and is yearning for a rematch on April 19.

“We’re one of the best. One of the toughest competition we will have is Queens High School of Teaching,” Natoli said. “We lost to them the first game but we have gotten so much better.”

Far Rockaway Seeks Positives What’s gone right, despite a 1-2 start to the season, for the Lady Seahorses is that coach Les Sabbah has more than enough players to work with.

“Out of the blue I got an amazing turnout. The last couple of years we were scrambling for girls,” Sabbah said. “We got 20 girls on the team.”

While the pitching staff will have some growing pains, the Lady Seahorses can certainly hit the ball. They scored 13 runs in their first game and blasted Springfield Gardens for the team’s first victory, 34-19.

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