As the old cliché goes, “pitching wins championships.”
Well, that is evidently the case for the Poly Prep varsity Softball team. With a terrific regular season campaign that saw them post a perfect 14-0 record, which earned them the number one seed in the NYSAISAA, a league of independent private high schools, they will be in contention for a third straight championship title.
But it has been the superb and unhittable pitching of ace Vicki Capozucca and Erica Sollazzo that has powered this team.
“It’s a luxury to have two pitchers [Vicki and Erica] like that on the team. If they pitch on another team, they could easily be that team’s lead pitcher,” said Head Coach Mildred Piscopo.
Capozucca has posted a 9-0 regular season record with a 0.25 ERA and has allowed one walk in 10 games. In the first round of the playoffs on May 18 against Long Island Lutheran, “the ace” went the distance by hurling seven shutout innings while allowing three hits in a 6-0 win for the lady Blue Devils.
“I just love pitching and I love the girls here, they are just all so supportive,” said Capozucca.
As for aspirations of winning another title, “the ace” had this quiet confidence about it, “I really don’t want to jinx anything. But we do look pretty good.”
As for Sollazzo, she also has a perfect record with a 5-0 regular season posting. Like Capozucca, she also attributes her success to teamwork.
“We work so well together and some of us are just such great friends. We’re just so supportive of one another,” said Sollazzo.
To the team’s “1A” pitcher, failure to win a title doesn’t mean the end of the world but it is also not acceptable.
“That is the goal [championship]. But we don’t think that our season is worthless if we don’t,” added the hurler.
Like what the two pitchers have said, the two-time Ivy League champs have attributed their success to the cohesiveness of the team as they are in heavy pursuit of a third consecutive title.
“They are a group of kids that are very unselfish and very team-oriented. There is no ‘I’ in team,” said Piscopo.
It is quite evident that cohesiveness and untouchable pitching has been the key ingredients in a recipe for success as the lady Blue Devils are keying in on another title.