Preston’s seniors have known nothing but heartbreak at the end of each of its seasons, losing in four straight CHSAA Archdiocesan softball championship games.
One final game allowed Panthers Julianna Orrico, Madeline Giannnini and Victoria Rivera got to go out winners as part of the CHSAA senior all-star team at the Mayor’s Cup’s game last Friday at the College of Staten Island. The Catholic school’s best beat their PSAL counterparts 9-0 for bragging rights. Orrico was named the game’s MVP.
“It’s bitter sweet,” Orrico said. “I loved putting on the uniform again with all of these girls I’ve played with over these four years. It’s definitely awesome. I’m sad to have give the uniform back, but it was a good way to end it.”
She was big part of the CHSAA’s four-run first inning. She singled and an error on the play allowed two runs to come home. Orrico later came around to score on a two-run single by Notre Dame Academy’s Lauren Duffy to give the CHSAA a 4-0 lead. The Catholic schools tacked on another run in the second against Frank Sinatra ace Breanna Traphouse.
“We just took advantage,” Orrico said. “I started it up and then we kept it going and we got four run in that first inning and that as big.”
She then came on to pitch two scoreless frames in the third and fourth. Orrico struck out one, but did not allow a base runner. She said it was much more difficult to navigate through a lineup for all stars.
“You have to be on your toes, make sure you are hitting your spots,” Orrico said.
Giannini nearly didn’t get a chance to make an impact. She was late to the game after getting out of work .The outfielder is a golf caddy at the Greenwich Country Club in Connecticut. Traffic to Staten Island didn’t make things any better.
“I was worried,” Giannini said. “I really wanted to participate in it and I got stuck in traffic on the highway. I was getting real nervous because I really wanted to make it. It’s something really special.”
She arrived midway though the contest and to played the final three innings. Giannini walked in the eight and scored one of the CHSAA’s four runs in the frame.
“I didn’t warm up or anything so I was a little nervous, a little rusty,” she said.
It all added up to memorable an happy experience for the Panthers trio.
“It feels good to end with a win, go out with a bang in something as cool as this,” Giannini said. “It’s pretty fun to end like this and remember my high school four years of softball like this is really cool.”