By Phil Terrigno
It’s also the arena in which any coach fortunate enough to have a transcendent pitcher can etch her name into lineup cards so regularly and with such reliance that to start anyone else would seem reprehensible.
The Journal News Westchester/Putnam Player of the Year is Carmel’s Jasmine Ennabe, a right-hander who proved to be just such a talent after the ability displayed in her junior season.
“(Jasmine) was automatically going to get (batters out),” Carmel catcher Brittany Allocca said. “When we got ahead, we knew that she was going to get them. (Teams) definitely got frustrated because she really dominated. We always joked around and the other teams were mad because they could never come back.”
Ennabe’s ascendance began with 19 strikeouts in a 13-inning game against Class AA power Ketcham and ended with consecutive 16-strikeout gems in Carmel’s first sectional-final win — also against Ketcham — and a regional-final loss.
Including those games and every pitch in between, the damage to opposing offenses read like this: an 18-5 record with 248 strikeouts and an 0.25 ERA in 166 innings.
“After the first couple of games, in almost every single game, I had over 10 strikeouts,” Ennabe said. “That was my goal. I realized that I’d get over 10 and it made me push myself a little more. I wanted to get over 10 and I felt like I had to.”
Rainouts severely crunched the playoff schedule, and Ennabe’s biggest challenge came when Carmel’s Class AA title matchup against Ketcham was suspended after 10 innings due to darkness, forcing the game to be resumed the following morning. The winner would have to leave immediately for Binghamton to play in the regional final later that day.
“I woke up that morning being really stressed out about playing and having to finish that last game,” Ennabe said. “Once we won, it was great, but we didn’t have any time to celebrate. It was unfortunate, we got on the bus and forgot about that last game.”
Carmel’s destination was the BAGSAI Softball Complex to face Section 4’s Union-Endicott, a meeting that resulted in a 2-0 Rams loss after Ennabe surrendered a pair of solo homers.
“We were so hyped up from winning the section and making Carmel history, and then going on the bus, we were all tired and sleepy,” Ennabe said. “It was a close game, just those two pitches I wish I could take back.”
At a lanky 5-foot-9 and with a balanced offensive game that yielded a .400 batting average, Ennabe has started to attract Division I and Division II college interest.
“Last year, she came to me and didn’t know if she wanted to play in college,” Carmel coach Kerri O’Connor said. “We talked about the pressure of that. She didn’t need to make a decision as a sophomore. As she had great success, she started to realize how talented she really is and that gave her the bug. She came out looking to beat everyone.”
In conversations about this season, Ennabe danced around mentioning a pertinent detail that O’Connor volunteered: a quad injury had nagged her for the entire year.
“It started to get better once I iced and wrapped it (routinely),” Ennabe said. “I had to think to myself, ‘I need to do this.’ I didn’t want to not be able to (pitch). I knew what I had to do.”
Danielle Cacciola (Eastchester): The Siena-bound hurler had 10 games with at least 10 strikeouts and batted .416 with eight homers.
Kristin Martin (Eastchester): Opposing pitchers didn’t give the LaSalle-bound Martin much to hit this season, but she managed to bat .475 with 27 RBI.
Alesandra Greco (New Rochelle): A two-time all-section player, Greco hit .545 with 36 hits and 23 RBI. New Rochelle’s all-time hits leader (111) will play at Haverford.
Cassidy Boyle (Hen Hud): The South Florida-committed junior hit .552 with 24 runs scored and 20 RBI.
Kelly Dillon (New Rochelle): The Huguenots’ all-time RBI leader (104) batted .517 with 32 RBI and six homers. Dillon finished with 101 varsity hits and will play at Coastal Carolina.
Brittany Deieso (Brewster): A valuable defensive player, the senior batted .388 on a Bears squad that battled daily in the Class A gauntlet.
Tayler Falvey (White Plains): Hampered by a back injury all season, Falvey managed to bat .435 with 30 hits, 27 RBI and six homers. Falvey had an .855 slugging percentage and will play at Catholic University.
Gabrielle Ciraco (New Rochelle): After batting .403 with 27 hits and 23 RBI, Ciraco will play at Binghamton.
Christie Lombardi (Fox Lane): The superbly talented defensive catcher will walk on at Virginia after a season in which she batted .710 (50 for 71) with 43 runs scored, 56 RBI and seven homers.
Brittany Mitchell (Ursuline): UNC-Charlotte will get a total package in Mitchell, who batted .406 with 15 RBI in addition to a 17-3 pitching record.
Coach of the year
Nick Lisikatos (Haldane): Tuckahoe was undefeated in the regular season and looked like the Class C favorite in Section 1 until a young Blue Devils squad pulled off the upset. Lisikatos guided his squad, which had seven freshman and no seniors, into overcoming a baffling 10-error performance to earn a regional semifinal win. A regional final loss ended its season, but returning its entire roster makes Haldane the early Class C favorite.
P — Alycia Feeney (Brewster), Jr.
P — Diana King (Rye Neck), So.
C — Essence Savinon (Ursuline), Sr.
1B — Summer Horowitz (Briarcliff), Sr.
2B — Angie Rizzi (Ursuline), Fr.
SS — Casey Stevko (Tuckahoe), Sr.
3B — Lauren Filardi (Ursuline), Sr.
OF — Sam Duffy (Carmel), Sr.
OF — Rebecca Karlin (New Rochelle), Jr.
OF — Ashley Petrone (Eastchester), Jr.
UTIL — Nickole Morgan (Rye Neck), Sr.
UTIL — Andrea Abbatiello (Dobbs Ferry), Sr.
Brittany Allocca (Carmel), Jr.; Bronwyn Bingham (Dobbs Ferry), Sr.; Gabby Caruso (Hen Hud), Fr.; Kimi Chiapparelli (Mamaroneck), So.; Samantha Fernandez (Carmel), Jr.; Raina Gorman (Ardsley), So.; Sydni Holtz (Valhalla), So.; Kellee Howell (Mount Vernon), Jr.; Nikole Larm (Brewster), Sr.; Alicia Marino (Pleasantville), Sr.; Cassie McGrath (Tuckahoe), 8th; Megan Jahoda (Hen Hud), Sr.; Lexi Kargbo (Tuckahoe), So.; Alyssa Rodia (Carmel), Sr.; Teresa Ricci (Mahopac), Sr.; Christina Rizzo (Westlake), Sr.; Stephanie Scala (Lakeland), Jr.; Jenna Snyder (Westlake), Sr.; Shannon Sommer (Brewster) Sr.; Danielle Sputo (White Plains), Jr.; Cassidy Wootten (Ardsley), Jr.