Pitches Bells into the finals

It’s hard to blame Krista Lancione if she feels a bit cheated. The Bronx native’s softball postseason was taken away from her this past school season.

Hackley’s ace pitcher never got to face Horace Mann, a team the Hornets already beat during the regular season, in the NYSAISAA quarterfinals in May. Hackley’s team had a swine flu outbreak – Lancione was one of the players affected by symptoms – and was forced to forfeit the game.

Just like that, her sophomore season was done.

What made it hard to swallow for Lancione was that coach Julianne Puente, the granddaughter of legendary Latin musician Tito Puente, won’t be returning next year. Puente, who has guided the Hornets to three Ivy League championships and a NYSAISAA title in 15 years at the helm, will be the deputy headmaster at a new school in Amman, Jordan.

The windmiller is coming off an excellent weekend pitching for the Pelham Bay Little League 16-and-under team in the New York Metro championship tournament. She pitched the Belles into the finals with a no-hit, 14-strikeout, one-walk performance against Hollis Bellaire Queens Village Bellerose.

Pelham Bay fell in the title game Sunday against Kingsbridge Little League, but Lancione is having an outstanding summer.

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