Notable start (6-2) for Lawrence


Lawrence softball is off to an absolutely blazing start to season with a 6-1 record.

The Golden Tornadoes have beaten their opponents by an average of 14 runs and scored 32 in a victory over Westbury on April 13.

Senior Gabriela Guevara is the team’s ace in the circle, recording over 50 strikeouts in eight games this spring. She’s been a pitcher for Lawrence since the eighth grade and has come into her own as a varsity starter.

“She throws mostly fastballs,” said first-year coach Jessie Ford. “She works in some offspeed as a strikeout pitch. She’s got a lot of speed and when she’s on, she’s a real force to be reckoned with.”

Lawrence is a team with a lot of experience, comprised of seven juniors, six seniors and a sophomore. It is led by captains Cynthia Saravia Reyes, a five-year starting shortstop; center fielder Brianna Vargas, who hit a grand slam against Malverne; second baseman Taylor Brancaccio; and Guevara. The lineup is rounded out with third baseman Ariana Vargas, junior Jayleen Aquilino, who has three home runs, first baseman Kimora Austin, defensive star Josselyn Alvarado, and sophomore Krissy Cribbs.

“The last two seasons this team has had 10-plus wins,” Ford said. “In 2021, they actually had a playoff win against Great Neck North, which was a big thing for Lawrence softball to start inching their way back towards the top of our conference.”

While Ford is in her first year at the helm, she’s been working with all of these girls since they first started playing softball.

“I was the middle school coach to start and they all started with me when they were in seventh grade. It's kind of like a full circle moment for all of us, which is great,” Ford said. “Cynthia Saravia Reyes is just a natural athlete and a natural softball player. I remember her putting a glove on in middle school when none of these girls have ever played before and she was on varsity before I knew it. It just came so naturally to her.”

Lucy Torres is one of the most improved players on the squad. She starts in the outfield, but her best position is actually at second base.

“[Torres] is so smart. She's my leadoff hitter, she's quick, she's savvy. She really knows the game really well,” Ford noted. “She remembers defensively where opposing girls are putting the ball, which is amazing.”

The goal for the Golden Tornadoes is to keep riding their hot streak and hopefully to turn it into a conference championship.

“We want to win the conference…That's been a goal since I started coaching here,” Ford said. “We have some great competitors and athletes that want to learn the game. They’ve been the underdogs for so long and these girls are really coming into their own right and at the right time too.”

This week Lawrence hopes to pile on more wins in games against Uniondale, Hempstead, and Friends Academy.