First-year Seaford softball head coach Thomas Fioriglio felt his team had a chance for deep spring postseason run heading into the Class A playoffs, but the offense never bloomed in a first round loss to neighborhood foe Wantagh in extra innings.
The fourth-seeded Vikings fell 3-1 in eight innings to Wantagh last Thursday with the Warriors’ Shayna DeRosa knocking home the eventual winning run on a double to break a 1-1 tie. Wantagh ace Haley Monahan kept the Seaford bats in check on a six-hitter and also damaged the Warriors at the plate with a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning.
“We just didn’t get that timely hit,” Fioriglio said. “We hit, but we hit it right at them.”
Seaford reached the playoffs for the 16th straight year with a 7-8 record in Class A’s top league to earn the fourth seed. The Vikings competed hard against the top teams in the county and entered the postseason winners of three-of-five including a 3-1 victory against Island Trees in the regular season finale on May 3.
“Unless you win the whole thing the season is always going to end abruptly,” Fioriglio said. “Overall it was a positive season.”
Eighth grader Ana Butler capped a solid first season on varsity with half of Seaford’s six hits in the playoff defeat. She smacked a first inning home run as part of a 3-for-3 day to give Seaford an early 1-0 lead. In addition to setting the tone offensively this season, Butler also excelled in the pitcher’s circle and recorded 15 strikeouts in a 15-7 win against Herricks on April 15.
“She became very strong midway through the season,” said Fioriglio of Butler, who hit over .400 for the year after playing on junior varsity as a seventh grader. “I knew the talent was there, but she went above and beyond.”
Senior pitcher Sophie Dandola finished strong in her last season of high school softball before starting her collegiate career at Hofstra. Dandola picked up six wins on the mound and also shined offensively with four home runs.
“She was amazing this year,” said Fioriglio of Dandola. “She put the team on her shoulders.”
Seaford also graduates seniors Christina Scialpi and Cassidy Wright, who Fioriglio said provided veteran leadership along with Dandola to a youthful roster. Despite losing key seniors, Fioriglio is excited for the future of Seaford softball with many starters returning next spring including pitching experience led by junior Samantha Yannetti and Butler. The Vikings also received offensive production from underclassmen throughout the 2017 campaign including three home runs by sophomore infielder Juliane Hilcken.
As Seaford prepares for a run at a 17th straight playoff spot, Fioriglio expects high goals once again for the season to run into June. The Vikings last won a county title in 2011 and just missed the finals last year after falling to Carey in the semifinals.
“The expectation every year is to win a championship,” he said. “We have a strong core of young players.”