I’ve been blessed as a beat writer to have relatively easy decisions when it comes to a player of the year selection for any given beat I may be on, and this year’s Westchester/Putnam softball pick is just another tally on top of the two dozen or so previous features I’ve written.
Rye Neck senior Diana King dominated the section this year, shining as arguably the best pitcher in the county and arguably one of the best hitters. King has been known for her arm for years, and rightfully so, but I felt like many didn’t really see — or notice — how incredible she was at the plate. Not for nothing, with King’s pitching, it’s not like the Panthers needed to score a ton of runs to back her up.
I focused my feature on King, the double threat, picking her brain on how she views herself as a softball player and what she thinks of people who may see her as a pitcher only. We also talked about superstitions and why she wouldn’t have wanted to face any other team than Valhalla in the section final.
The packages for both Rockland and Westchester/Putnam are in today’s print edition of The Journal News.
Here is a statement from King, who wanted to thank some people who helped her throughout her career:
“I would like to thank both my parents for their sacrifice and support, my brother because we played each other in Little League baseball and he always made me so competitive because I wanted to beat him whenever we played each other. I want to thank my high school coaches (Joan and Frank Spedafino), my travel coaches Ryan Castle, Cyndi Carnegie and (Harrison coach) Dean Marino, and my hitting/pitching coach Chris Vasami.”
Journal News Westchester/Putnam first-team
P: Raina Gorman, Ardsley, Sr.
C: Sam Yannuzzi, Rye Neck, Fr.
1B: Emma Prinz, Brewster, Sr.
2B: Cameron Lischinsky, Lakeland, So.
3B: Jenna Houlahan, Lakeland, Jr.
SS: Brandi Coon, Valhalla, Sr.
OF: Kayla Castro, Ursuline, So.
OF: Morgan Cole, Yorktown, Sr.
OF: Kaylie Dymek, Valhalla, Jr.
UTIL: Kelly Dovi, Brewster, So.
UTIL: Theresa Swertfager, John Jay, Sr.
DP: Angie Rizzi, Ursuline, Jr.
Coach of the year: Lisa Delzio, Brewster
P: Sydni Holtz, Valhalla, Sr.
C: Megan Canfield, Ardsley, Sr.
1B: Alexandra Wright, Lakeland, Sr.
2B: Ashley Macri, Ardsley, Sr.
3B: Christina DeCarlo, Harrison, Jr.
SS: Meghan Giordano, Croton-Harmon, Fr.
OF: Sarina Campos, Ursuline, So.
OF: Danielle Petrovich, Panas, So.
OF: Stephanie Ragusa, Yorktown, Jr.
UTIL: Jenna Sacchetti, Brewster, Sr.
UTIL: Kimi Chiapparelli, Mamaroneck, Sr.
DP: Amber Badillo, Lakeland, So.
Honorable mentions: Jordan Amorelli, Pelham, Jr.; Victoria Biancavilla, Eastchester, Sr.; Gabby Caruso, Hen Hud, Jr.; Val Cucci, Ursuline, Jr.; Olivia DeLaurentis, Blind Brook, Sr.; Kim Dolhon, John Jay, Sr.; Amy Glashoff, Hen Hud, Sr.; Cassie Lagana, Port Chester, Sr.; Shannon Liguori, Rye Neck, Sr.; Taylor Mancini, Scarsdale, Sr.; Brianna Mancuso, Westlake, Sr.; Cassie McGrath, Tuckahoe, So.; Allie Monteleone, Haldane, Sr.; Carly Pease, Mahopac, Jr.; Anastasia Pennacchio, North Salem, Jr.