After finishing 12-2 and winning the 12u Spring Championship, finishing 15-2 and winning the 12u Summer Championship, the Lady Knights moved up to the 14u division and finished 16-3, winning the Fall Championship! Their fall transition to 14u was seamless as they outscored their opponents 247 to 94 over their 11-1 NJBL season and 5-2 tournament schedule, batting .400 with a .574 OBP as a team. Overall, the team went 43-7 over their 50 game schedule in 2017!
During their fall season, the Lady Knights knocked off large organization brand names such as the LI Rebels (won 17-5), LI Hurricanes (won 9-4), CYA Chiefs (won 18-17 & 11-5) and Nitro (won 19-8). They finished 3-1 in their season ending tournament playing against girls that were mostly 2 and 3 years older.
Gianna Pizzulli lead the team this fall with 56 plate appearances, 48 at bats, 20 hits and 17 singles out of the leadoff spot, batting .417/.500 (AVG/OBP). Gianna scored 19 times and had 18 RBI, 3rd on the team. Gianna amassed 131 plate appearances during 2017, batting .495/.573, with 52 runs and 51 RBI’s, 9 doubles and 7 triples. Gianna was solid at 3b, OF & catcher.
Jessica Forneiro lead the team in runs (30), walks (22) and triples (3) while batting .483/.692 during the fall season. Over 2017, Jessie lead the team with 158 plate appearances. She was a picture of consistency, posting OBP’s of .694, .684 & .692 (spring/summer/fall), scoring 81 runs with 4 doubles, 9 triples and 2 home runs over 2017. Jessie was a rock in the infield, playing nearly flawless 2B/SS while always having her head in the game and communicating with her teammates.
Jessica Sticco finished 3rd in runs scored (23), 2nd in RBI’s (20), 1st in triples (3), while batting .457/.615 out of the 3rd spot in the order this fall. Across 139 plate appearances during 2017, Jess was extremely consistent, scoring 20, 21 & 23 runs, driving in 23, 13 & 20 runs while batting .458/.612 with 9 doubles and 5 triples.. Jess was strong at SS & OF, attacking the ball with her aggressive style of play. Jess is one of our fastest and smartest base runners.
Grace Heim lead the team with an amazing 22 RBI’s in only 31 plate appearances, batting .417/.548 with 3 triples and 14 runs scored this fall. Grace played excellent 3B & OF. Grace also picked up a big tournament win, pitching 4 hitless innings vs the LI Hurricanes. In our year end tournament vs the Rebels, Grace went 3-3 with 3 runs scored and 4 RBI’s to lead a 17 run attack.
Marissa Passantino was her typical productive self this fall, batting .486/.660 while driving in 16 and scoring 26. Over 157 plate appearances during 2017, Marissa batted .462/.592 with 65 runs and 66 RBI’s. On the bump, Marissa followed up her 2-0 spring and 3-0 summer with a 4-1 fall (9-1 overall), including a victory over the LI Rebels in tournament play. Marissa played a strong 1B when not mowing down batters on the mound.
Daniella Popko batted .321/.568 with 16 runs and 17 RBI’s this fall. She was also one of our most reliable pitchers, going 4-1 including 2 shutout innings against Fire & Ice in our year end tournament. Daniella finished 2017 9-3 overall while batting .407/.593 across 135 plate appearances. On 10/21 vs the Islip Owls, not only did Daniella pitch 4 innings, allowing 1 earned run, she also went 2-3 with 4 RBI’s and a triple to lead the Lady Knights to a 25-2 victory. Daniella played a solid 1B this fall.
Staff Ace, Gabby Amicizia, once again dominated on the mound, going 5-1, striking out 36 over 31 innings this fall. Overall in 2017, Gabby finished an eye popping 16-1 with 94 innings pitched, 87 hits, only 34 walks and 117 strikeouts! Gabby most recently fired a gem in our year end tournament vs the Brentwood Panthers (4 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 walks, 5 K’s) to clinch the Lady Knights the #1 seed going into elimination play on Sunday. Proving she is NOT a one dimensional player, Gabby batted .536/..653 over 75 plate appearances, with 8 doubles, 1 triple and 1 HR during 2017.
Natalia D’Onofrio batted .394/.500 this fall with 19 runs, 14 RBI’s, 4 doubles (lead team) and 2 triples. In our year end tournament, Talia went 3-3 with 2 runs, 2 RBI’s and a double against the LI Rebels. Talia is one of our fastest and most aggressive base runners, bringing that approach to her outfield play. Natalia is a tremendous athlete, showing off her cannon arm at 3B/SS and all around the outfield.
Sarah Gunn started every game of 2017 at catcher. Across 129 plate appearances in 2017, Sarah had a .535 OBP with 46 runs scored. Sarah progressed throughout the year behind the dish, improving her framing and blocking skills. She also threw out numerous base runners, quickening her delivery and release time. She is tremendously dedicated to the team, maintaining a perfect game & practice attendance record throughout 2017 (for the 2nd year in a row!).
Kendal Eggert had her fall season shortened by a foot injury. She was piping hot at the plate, batting .556/.704. In only 27 plate appearances, Kendal was extremely productive, scoring 13 and driving in 8 runs with 3 doubles. Her big bat in the middle of our lineup and consistent play at 3b was sorely missed at year end.
Sofia Stampfli had 99 plate appearances over Summer/Fall, batting .379/.576 with 52 runs scored. Sofia played strong defense in CF and 2B while putting pressure on the defense with her hustle on the bases and her bunting skills. Sofia is the consummate team player, always smiling and cheering for her teammates regardless of the situation.
Maddie Anderson batted .526/.654 this fall. In our year end tournament vs top competition, Maddie finished the season on fire, going 4 for her last 5 with 4 runs and 2 RBI’s. Maddie pitched 27 innings over 2017, giving up only 13 hits while striking out 42, going 3-2 with 1 save.
Julia Russo had a .550 OBP this fall with 14 runs scored and 8 RBI. Julia had one of the biggest and most exciting hits of the season. The Lady Knights trailed the CYA Chiefs by 11 runs in the 5th. The Lady Knights came storming back, trailing by 1 when Julia came to bat with the bases loaded. Julia smoked a line drive single between 1st and 2nd to drive in 2 runs and complete the 18-17 walk off win!
Jessica Sommo batted .418/.492 over Spring/Fall. Over 63 plate appearances, Jess scored 15 runs and drove in 21. On 9/24 at Port Washington, Jess went 1-1 with a walk, 2 runs and 2 RBI’s. to lead the Lady Knights to an 18-1 victory. Jess showed much improved speed and athleticism this fall which was evident in her defense in the outfield.
Michelle Defina had a .448 OBP over 2017. In 87 plate appearances, Michelle scored 23 runs and drove in 19. Michelle is one of our most reliable fielders. She played a nearly flawless 2B during 2017 and has improved her outfield play as well. In our year end tournament, Michelle went 2-2 with a run and RBI vs Fire & Ice.
Coaches John Forneiro, Carol & Mike Passantino, Chris Stampfli and John Heim are very impressed by the hustle, hard work and dedication that these girls put in over a long 2017 season. The improvement they showed from winter training through the end of fall was tremendous! With increased competition throughout the year, playing against older teams and in tournaments, they made the necessary adjustments. They fought hard each and every game, never giving up. All season long, they stayed positive and always pulled for each other; a true TEAM, through and through. We couldn’t be more proud of this special group!
Enjoy these video recaps of our Fall & Summer seasons! Thanks to Cythia Pizzulli for putting the video together and to Coach Carol for taking the pictures!