Sports

Tigers eye bright future

The last two years have certainly been successful ones for the Mamaroneck softball program, as the Tigers made back-to-back appearances in the Class A semifinals. But even though the team hasn’t yet advanced to the championship game, head coach Susan Hannon believes the window is still open for this up-and-coming team.

This season, Mamaroneck’s path once again ran through Yorktown—a team the Tigers topped in extra innings in the 2016 quarterfinals. In the teams’ semifinal round rematch this year, it was the Tuskers who would come out on top, ending the Tigers’ season on a 4-1 heartbreaker on May 25.

Mamaroneck players communicate on a fly ball at Yorktown High School. Photos/Mike Smith

It was a disappointing end for a team that had made its bones with tremendous displays at the plate all season long. At no point during the year was that offensive firepower more evident than in the lead up to the playoffs. In Mamaroneck’s three final regular season games, they outscored their opponents 25-2.

“Coming into the playoffs, I think we had a lot of confidence, we were scoring a lot of runs,” Hannon said. “But against Yorktown, we just got the short end of the stick; we hit the ball, but we just couldn’t put our hits together.”

That loss, she said, is sure to motivate her girls as a long offseason looms.

“I think they can see themselves going farther at this point,” Hannon said. “But returning is going to be a younger team, and for a lot of the girls, they really only know that kind of success.”

The Tigers will graduate five senior starters, including key cogs in the lineup like Mia Steinberg and Jess Faicco, meaning that the coach will have some holes to fill. But Mamaroneck should be solid at pitcher and catcher, as sophomores Gianna Magrino and Josie Steinberg will be back to serve as the team’s battery.

Gianna Magrino throws a pitch against Yorktown on May 25. Magrino earned All-Section honors this year and will return next season as Mamaroneck’s ace.

Magrino earned All-Section honors this year for her solid performance in the circle.

“That’s the biggest piece, this game is all about pitching and defense and those are our strongest elements,” Hannon said. “And we also have Tava [Kaspar] who pitched too; this is huge because everything else can be taught and worked on.”

One thing that the coach notes that the team will need to work on—with the loss of its senior leadership—is finding those voices to fill the void and help bring the varsity newcomers into the fold next spring.

If the Tigers can do that, she said, the sky could be the limit.

“Josie, Gianna and Tava, they are the ones with the most experience, so they are going to kind of be automatic leaders,” Hannon said. “But I’ve been having meetings with the players to talk about next year and who else is going to be replacing that leadership. For us, that’s going to be the biggest thing.”

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