By MIKE SMITH
On April 4, New Rochelle’s softball team lost a heartbreaker at home to Dobbs Ferry, dropping a 5-4 ballgame to the Eagles. Although New Rochelle is still looking for its first win of the new season, head coach Tim Collins said he feels his young team is definitely making strides.
Against the Eagles, New Rochelle had a hard time containing the bat of Gabby Venditto, who homered and drove in two runs in the ballgame. The Huguenots’ Alexis Galluzzo would drive in two runs of her own on the day, but it wouldn’t be enough as New Rochelle fell to 0-3 on the year.
With just three returning starters from last year’s team, Collins expected the team to take some time to gel in 2014.
“We’re young and we knew there were going to be some growing pains early on,” Collins said. “You look around the field and see we’ve got new starters in just about every position, so this is a learning experience.”
And so far, save one lopsided loss to Carmel, the Huguenots have been competing at a high level.
In the season opener against Ardsley, the team trailed 2-1 heading into the fifth and, on Friday, they were able to scratch out some big hits against a talented Dobbs Ferry pitching staff.
Collins is particularly proud of the way his team was able to bounce back from the Carmel loss with a spirited effort against Dobbs.
“We talked about not quitting,” he said. “And I could tell that, after the Carmel game, these girls were mad about losing. They shrugged it off and came back out there with a spark.”
As the Huguenots search for their first win, it will be incumbent upon the returners–Kasey Dillon, Rebecca Karlin and Stephanie Ryder‑to lead the way, but Collins has also been impressed so far with some of his newcomers, particularly Galluzzo, who plays first base.
“She’s been lights-out, and you can put her anywhere, even behind the plate,”
Collins said of the junior. “I think you’re going to see some good things from her this year.”
The Huguenots will be back in action on April 9 when they take on White Plains, after press time. On Saturday, the squad will host Mamaroneck before taking on a tough team from Stamford during spring break.
“Right now, the girls are working hard,” Collins said. “And they know that, as long as we’re in every game, the game can turn on any play.”