2012-04-13 / Sports

Persistence Pays off For Winning Seawolves

By Elio Velez

Rebecca O’Connor believed last spring that Scholars’ Academy would eventually be granted a varsity softball team.

When a number of scheduled scrimmages with other schools fell by the wayside, a number of players at Scholars’ kept the faith.

Their determination paid off.

Now Scholars’ Academy can finally call themselves a varsity team. The Seawolves are off to an outstanding start in the PSAL ‘B’ Queens II Division, tied for second place with a 6-1 record and just a game behind 7-0 John Adams.

It’s been almost a seamless transition playing against organized competition. Scholars have scored 8 or more runs in every contest this year, and their camaraderie on the field is a plus according to O’Connor.

“It’s a longtime coming for us. We’ve been trying to get this team since freshman year,” O’Connor said. This is the first year we are in a competitive team. It’s a huge benefit.

Even the freshmen who come in, they feel welcome and no tension at all. We know how everyone will play.”

Scholars Academy coach Jessica Henck says her team showcased a continuing passion to play softball and it has translated on the field this season with their early success.

“For three years, they just played as a club team because they wanted to play. We didn’t have any competition last year, we just practiced. They all still showed up and it shows how much dedication they are,” Henck said.

Scholars started the campaign at 4-1 until they received a bunch of new arrivals from the basketball team. Sophomore pitcher Kayla Nolan was one of six players to partake in their first league game on April 3 in a 20-0 win over Far Rockaway.

“It was a bit strange,” Nolan said. “I was just thinking about basketball because it was really big thing for us, especially since our transition from the team last year, I was focusing on that.”

Nolan earned the victory over the Lady Seahorses, and Robert Goddard on April 5 when Scholars’ Academy scored five runs in the top of the seventh to gain the comeback win. She will split duties with Hanna Molino and Shannon Toomey.

“A lot of us are really athletic girls. Some of them have been playing softball together since ninth grade. We haven’t had a lot of serious games, and when this season is starting, we have already been playing together,” Nolan added.

“We know our positions; we are comfortable with each other and know what we can do. We all come into the game knowing what to do out there.”

Scholars Academy will return to action on Thursday at Fort Tilden in a game against Beach Channel (4-3) at 4 p.m. Baseball

Beach Channel/Channel View Junior pitcher Kely Aponte recorded his second no-hitter of the season in a 17- 1 Dolphins victory over August Martin on Wednesday, April 4.

Aponte, who threw a no-hitter in the first PSAL game of the season against Springfield Gardens, gave the Falcons fits by striking out 17 batters in five innings.

Joshua Morales had 4 hits and drove in four RBI, along with Murphy Ortiz driving in four runs and recorded three hits for Beach Channel (4-0, PSAL Queens B South Division). The Dolphins travel to take on Information Technology High School on Monday, 4 p.m., at Maurice Avenue Park.

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