The wait is over, the Journal News Rockland Softball All-county team is:
Pearl River senior Mandy McCarthy evolved as a pitcher over the past four years.
But this year, that wasn’t the case.
“I’d come out of the game with one strikeout,” McCarthy said. “I’d think ‘OK, maybe that’s not what you were aiming for going in,’ but at no point was I stressing over it. It’s the team mentality. This year, I wasn’t nervous at any point in the circle and that’s a credit to the other girls behind me. I had total confidence that no matter where the ball was hit, they’d get it.”
That trust resulted in the College of Holy Cross-bound right-hander posting a 21-4 mark, tied for second on the school’s single-season wins list. McCarthy had a 1.78 ERA in 157 innings pitched with 66 strikeouts, 49 walks and a 1.20 WHIP.
Those numbers helped her earn selection as The Journal News Rockland softball player of the year.
The all-section selection pitched the Pirates (23-4) to the Class A state semifinals. McCarthy also contributed offensively, batting .500 with 16 doubles and 38 RBI. She had key hits in the regional final win over Section 9’s Marlboro and in the state semifinal loss to Section 11’s Sayville.
“The focus was never on individual statistics,” Pirates coach Chris Woolgar said. “When you look to compare her numbers — or any of their numbers — from this year to previous years, the only number that stood out to us was 23. Knowing her, Mandy would trade a double-digit strikeout performance for a section and regional title with her teammates any day of the week.”
That team-player mentality was spotted as early as 2007, when McCarthy was playing for Woolgar in the Pearl River Little League.
McCarthy gives a lot of the credit for her success to longtime batterymate Deirdre O’Malley. They have been playing together since Pearl River all-stars.
“She would go home and read the charts as well as what we had on the other team,” McCarthy said. “I cannot credit her enough for how much effort she put into making sure I can do what I wanted to.”
O’Malley put a lot of the game plans together for the duo.
“What Mandy did differently is she put a lot of trust in our teammates,” O’Malley said. “She had more flexibility on the mound knowing what she had behind her. It shows a lot about her character — it’s not about the double-digit strikeouts, it’s about how the team does and what she can contribute.”
McCarthy, who started playing tee-ball at the age of 5, is moving onto the next level but says she will miss the girls she’s played with since the age of 8.
“I don’t see any team that I’ve ever played on or will (play on) that could possibly match that team,” McCarthy said of her senior year at Pearl River. “The chemistry that we had with every girl on that team no matter how good or bad we played, it was just a great experience.”
A short video of McCarthy done by the lovely and talented Tania Savayan of the Journal News. She also took the pictures of McCarthy:
Other members of The Journal News Rockland all-star first team, selected with assistance from the Rockland coaches:
Paulina Gutkin, Tappan Zee (left): The Bucknell-bound senior posted a 17-2 mark and a 1.22 ERA with 169 strikeouts in 132 innings. Gutkin batted .500 with five home runs, four triples, seven doubles and 21 RBI from the leadoff spot.
Kelly Connolly, Tappan Zee: The senior cleanup hitter batted .481 with two home runs, 13 doubles, and 15 runs scored. She was also dominant behind the plate.
Madison Scanlon, Suffern: The senior all-section first baseman was one of the reasons the Mounties made it to the Section 1 Class AA semifinals. Scanlon batted .377, had a .449 slugging percentage, a .419 on base percentage, led the team in singles (23), and was second in hits (26), runs scored (17), and RBI (13).
Erin Woods, Pearl River: The James Madison-bound senior second baseman sits alone in the Pirates’ record books in four categories. She’s the Pirates all-time leader in batting average (.522), on-base percentage (.587), slugging percentage (.978), and runs scored (43). Woods led the Pirates in eight offensive categories this season.
Sam Alicandri, Pearl River: The senior shortstop and lead-off hitter batted .458 with 14 RBI, 17 stolen bases, 12 walks, a .526 on-base percentage, and a .578 slugging percentage.
Ashley Lew, Clarkstown North: The Pace-bound senior third baseman and lead-off hitter batted .476 with five home runs, four triples, 25 runs scored, 17 RBI, 20 stolen bases, a .571 on-base percentage and a .905 slugging percentage.
Jules Madigan, Pearl River: The junior center fielder had four putouts in the Pirates’ Section 1 championship win and eight in the regional semifinal win over Maine Endwell. She batted .324 with 13 RBI, three doubles, a .366 slugging percentage and a .368 on-base percentage.
Laura Marinello, Nanuet: The senior batted .390, had 30 hits, 10 RBI and a .461 on-base percentage. The center fielder had 40 putouts for a .936 fielding percentage.
Amanda Schweitzer, North Rockland: The sophomore right fielder/center fielder batted .452 ( 33 for 73) with two home runs, two triples, six doubles and 18 RBI. She had a .506 on-base percentageand a .671 slugging percentage.
Danielle DiModguno, Nanuet: DiModugno stepped out from behind the plate, where she played most of the season, and into the role of the No. 1 pitcher, posting a 3.03 ERA.. She batted .439 with 10 doubles, 19 RBI, a .519 on-base percentage, and a .619 slugging percentage.
Samantha Iodice, Suffern: The University of Delaware-bound senior split her time between shortstop and third base. A first-team all-section pick for the third straight year, she batted .360 and led the Mounties in six offensive categories.
Coach of the year
Jackie DiNuzzo, North Rockland: In her fourth year, DiNuzzo transformed last year’s sub-.500 team into this year’s Section 1 Class A semifinalist.
P: Briana Keaveney, Jr., Clarkstown South
P: Kayla McDermott, So., North Rockland
C: Megan Sneeden, So., Nyack
1B: Nicole Spiegelberg, So. Tappan Zee
2B: Gabby Palumbo, So., Clarkstown South
SS: Karly Fishkin, Jr., Clarkstown South
3B: Stephanie Cambrea, So., Tappan Zee
OF: Kirsten McGarvey, Jr., Pearl River
OF: Alana Vezza, Jr., Nanuet
OF: Brianna Turchiarelli, Jr., Clarkstown South
Util: Emily Turilli, Fr., Pearl River
Util: Meagan Trozzo, Jr., Tappan Zee
Alicia Bertolino, So. North Rockland; Gabriella Caccamo, Fr., Suffern; Lauren Capello, Sr., Albertus Magnus; Courtney Carbone, So., Nanuet; Oriana Castello, 8th, Nanuet; Nicki Checkla, Sr., Suffern; Mary Glisson, Jr., Clarkstown North; Sara Herskowitz, So., Clarkstown South; Deangie Jimenez, So., East Ramapo; Caroline Kardaishian, Sr., Pearl River; Mandy Langlois, Sr., East Ramapo; Dee O’Malley, Sr., Pearl River; Alana Prosapio, So., Nanuet; Nicole Ritsick, Jr. Clarkstown South; Tiffany Salcito, Sr., Nyack; Kate Wood, Jr., Suffern.