Playoff aspirations for South Side


South Side’s softball team is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2023 season, in which it finished 6-10 and missed the playoffs.
This year however, coach Nicole Tufano looks to lean on her seniors to lead the Cyclones where they want to go.
“Our current seniors won a conference championship as freshmen and we’re excited to see if they can bookend their high school careers with another successful season and playoff appearance,” Tufano said.
Lily McGrath is a senior captain and has displayed great talent at the plate and in the pitching circle. Last season she batted .435 and struck out 75 batters in 53 innings. She tore her ACL last June and is slowly working her way back to regaining her top form.  
“Every day she is working hard and working up her stamina so I’m hoping towards the end of the season she can throw a full game for us or play first base,” Tufano said of McGrath.

Emily Koluch, another senior pitcher, struck out 62 in 46 innings. “Emily started as a freshman and she can hit all four quadrants on the plate, she’s just a phenomenal player,” Tufano said. “She’s got a handful of pitches she can throw at any time. She’s confident in all her pitches and she really keeps the hitters off balance with all her pitches.” 
Bianca Onorato is the third baseman who is excellent defensively and has a .333 batting average. She is also a senior captain. “I’m really looking forward to moving her up this year, she worked really hard over the years and her stats keep getting better and better,” Tufano said. “Putting her at the beginning of the lineup to hopefully get her more at-bats can hopefully produce more runs for us.”
Sophomore catcher Kaitlyn Ganly had limited playing time last spring in a backup role. This year Tufano expects to see major growth from Ganly.
In the season-opening 8-6 loss at Lynbrook March 25, Ganly went 1-for-2 with a single and two walks to back up her coach’s words. In that game Tufano also saw a lot of promise from some of the younger talent on the roster. Freshman Evelyn Schmitt recorded her first varsity hit and RBI as part of a 3-for-5, three-RBI performance. Junior transfer student Samantha Rodriguez went 2-for-5 with a double and a single.
Outfielder Delia Ryan is another senior captain who returned to the program and is expected to have a tremendous impact due to her playing days since freshman and sophomore year.
Tufano is counting on Ryan to regain form with the team rather quickly and help a lot of the younger players get better through mentorship and experience and her being a leader on the field.
 The Cyclones picked up a key conference victory against Floral Park, 4-1, April 1 to even their record. Sophomore infielder Clare McKenna went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base and Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Schmitt went 2-for-4 with an RBI and stolen base and McGrath struck out six to earn the win. Koluch struck out eight in relief for the save.
South Side caps a three-game homestand versus this Friday at 5 p.m.