May 18, 2009 / Sports

Oneto pitches Madison softball past Poly Prep

The Brooklyn Paper
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The aim for the James Madison softball team, coach Bill Dumont said, was to see good pitching. A win in a non-league game with Poly Prep would have been nice, but virtually meaningless.

The Knights ended up getting the best of both worlds. Madison beat Poly Prep, 2-0, on Monday afternoon in Bay Ridge despite facing Blue Devils ace windmiller Victoria Capozucca, who was brilliant.

“She was maybe the best pitcher we’ve seen all year,” Dumont said.

Capozucca, a junior right-hander, gave up just those two runs in seven innings, but she was actually outdueled by counterpart Marie Oneto. Madison’s junior windmiller tossed a one-hit shutout and struck out five batters. Junior third baseman Maria Mantagas had a home run and freshman shortstop Gina Gerone cracked an RBI double, accounting for the game’s only runs.

“It’s a quality loss,” said Poly Prep coach Mildred Piscopo, whose team just won a fourth straight Ivy League title. “Our last couple of games have been kind of one-sided.”

Dumont knows the feeling. Madison wins every game in PSAL Brooklyn A by 10 runs or more. That’s why he stacks his non-league schedule with every good team he can find. Next week, with a long layoff until the playoffs, the Knights will head to Long Island to play solid teams out there.

“We play all the top teams,” Dumont said. “I play the division, because I have to.”

His team’s greatest strength was evident Monday. Oneto is lights out, but she has been the 1b starter to sophomore Kayla Hill’s 1a. They each have different skill sets, too. Oneto works off her changeup and has pinpoint control. Hill is a power pitcher with a hard fastball and a wicked curve.

“They’re different,” Dumont said. “That’s the thing I love about them.”

Although having two terrific pitchers is a luxury come playoff time, it has its disadvantages, the coach said. Sharing the ball is never easy. Choosing between the two of them can, at times, be impossible.

“When you’re trying to pitch both of them, sometimes you can’t,” Dumont said. “Both deserve to pitch. You have to go with the hot hand.”

Madison, ranked No. 3 in the NYC softball top 10, has two games left on its league schedule this week before the playoffs. The Knights have put themselves in position for a No. 2 or a No. 3 seed. Poly Prep, which is ranked No. 4 in the NYC rankings, will begin its NYSAISAA playoffs Sunday. The seeding meeting is Wednesday and Poly Prep, which is trying to win four championships in a row, will host NYC No. 1 Tottenville on Friday to round out its non-league schedule.

“There will be some good teams,” Piscopo said of the NYSAISAA tournament. “But I don’t think there will be a Tottenville-level team in our playoffs.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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