There was no postseason softball hardware brought back to Brooklyn at the highest level this season, but the borough still produced some of the best talent and teams in the five boroughs.
Poly Prep took home the Ivy League title, and it came within a single win of its first private school state crown since 2011 before falling in the championship game. James Madison was again one of the top squads in the Public School Athletic League. The Golden Knights came just two outs away from heading to the title game for the first time since 2011. Fontbonne Hall remained a premier club in Brooklyn-Queens despite losing the core of its diocesan championship team from two years ago.
St. Edmund completed its diocesan three-peat in the Brooklyn-Queens Class A league, something that could propel it back into the top tier. Telecommunications, New Utrecht, and Fort Hamilton all had strong campaigns.
Here are the people who helped make it happen and are considered the best in Brooklyn:
All-Brooklyn Softball Player of the Year: Isabella Gerone, James Madison
Gerone continues to be the cog that makes the Golden Knights go, leading Madison to its second-straight semifinal appearance. The junior was dominant in the circle, pitching to a 14–2 record with a 1.35 ERA in the regular season. She fanned 161 batters in 110 innings. At the plate, Gerone hit .568 with 29 runs batted in, 30 runs scored and 11 extra base hits.
All-Brooklyn Softball Coach of the Year: Mildred Piscopo, Poly Prep
Piscopo is a proven winner as she has molded this group into tight team. The veteran coach instilled confidence in a young group, and her players expected to win and compete at the highest level. The Blue Devils went 16–4, took a game off state champion Fieldston in the regular season, and earned the top seed in the state tournament. The program’s future is bright.
All-Brooklyn softball first team:
Shortstop: Erinn Cruz, Fort Hamilton
The senior posted the best season of her career to help Fort Hamilton more than double its win total from last year, with 11. Cruz posted a .583 average with 28 runs scored and 27 runs batted in. She blasted 12 extra base hits and stole nine bases.
Third base: Ariana Dillon, Fontbonne Hall
Dillon is one of the city’s best all-around players, and arguably its toughest. The senior did an excellent job patrolling the hot corner. She batted a team-leading .436 with 26 runs batted in, and did all the little things right out on the field.
Shortstop: Kristen Gutekunst, Telecommunications
There was no sophomore slump for Gutekunst, who built nicely off her strong freshman campaign. She batted a whopping .578 with 32 runs scored and 21 runs batted in. The sure-fielding shortstop also slugged six doubles and swiped 27 bases.
Centerfield: Victoria Lombardo, New Utrecht
The junior was a force be reckoned with at the plate and a rising star in the borough. She posted a .511 average with 25 runs scored and 24 runs batted in. Lombardo also collected 12 extra base hits for the third-place Utes.
Pitcher: Bianca Marletta, Fontbonne Hall
The Bonnies pitching didn’t skip a beat with Marletta replacing Nicolette Trapani in the circle. The junior went 11–4 with a 1.78 earned run average. She struck out 110 while walking just 10. At the plate, Marletta hit .397 with 28 runs batted in and five homers.
Catcher: Samantha Mendelsohn, James Madison
The sophomore backstop continues to put up fine numbers and is a steadying force behind the plate. She batted .423 with 20 runs batted in, and 17 runs scored. Mendelsohn had the go-ahead hit for Madison in a come-from-behind quarterfinal victory over Bronx Science.
Pitcher: Eva O’Mara, Poly Prep
O’Mara was a serious dual threat for the Blue Devils. She took over for Ciara Schirripa as the ace and went 14–2 with a 1.96 earned run average and 121 strikeout outs in 96 innings. The sophomore also hit .358 with 25 runs scored and 14 runs batted in.
Centerfield: Morgan O’Mara, Poly Prep
The sophomore was the stabilizing force in the Blue Devils outfield and Poly’s most dangerous hitter at the plate. O’Mara batted a team-leading .565 with 33 runs batted in, and 30 runs scored. She smashed 11 extra base hits.
Pitcher: Thalia Santiago, Telecommunications
The sophomore built off her freshman season and continues to be one of the city’s rising stars despite a late injury cutting her season short. Santiago was 8–2 in the circle with a 1.43 earned run average and 100 strikeouts in 55 innings. She also hit .595 with 28 runs batted in, 11 extra base hits, and 13 stolen bases.
Shortstop: Taylor Trim, James Madison
The athletic Trim turned her game up a notch in the playoffs. The sophomore increased her average nearly 100 points to .455 in the playoffs. She scored seven of her 24 runs and drove in five of her 20 runs batted in when the games mattered most.
Pitcher: Kayla Maiolo, St. Edmund
The junior is a big reason the Eagles still sit on top of the Brooklyn-Queens A league. Maiolol was 9–1 with a 1.13 earned run average, striking out 145. She was equally as dangerous with bat, hitting .491 with 21 runs batted in.