Monday, July 22, 2019

Click here to
sign up for our newsletter!

The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

May 10, 2019

Local Talent Fueling Nationally Ranked Team

By Tim Morris

Brookdale Softball lincroft nj 2019

Courtesy of Brookdale Athletics

In his four decades as skipper of the Brookdale Community College softball team, Bo Scannapieco has turned the Lincroft campus into the home of one of country’s most prolific programs.

With more victories than any National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) coach in history – 1,112 and counting – three NJCAA Division III national championships and 15 Region XIX crowns, the numbers speak for themselves.

Despite playing a rugged schedule that included games against Division I and II teams, Brookdale has started the season 16-6 and is ranked No. 3 nationally in a recent NJCAA Division III poll.

The early returns from the first month of the season point to a Brookdale team that is strong in all three phases of the game-pitching, defense and hitting.

“We’ve been playing consistent, and as long we are consistent, we’ll be OK,” Scannpieco said. “The players we have can play, and we have a little bit of depth.”

Thanks to good weather in March, Brookdale played more games to this point of the season than in previous years. Those added games have helped the defense gel.

“Our defense is really good,” Scannapieco said, adding that the team has had several errorless games.

Sophomore catcher Kaitlin Vazquez, of Howell, has been the standout on defense. Her quick release and powerful arm have neutralized the opposition’s running game. Base runners who try to steal a base do so at their own peril.

Offensively, the Blues have scored 184 runs and have a team batting average of .364 and on-base percentage of .412.

“We’re a line-drive team hitting the gaps,” Scannapieco said.

Skylar Moore, of Manasquan, has put the pop in the lineup. The freshman has smacked nine doubles and seven home runs while slugging an eye-popping .996. She leads the team in RBI with 24 and is tied for the lead in runs scored at 23. She’s batting .458.

Freshman Megan Masi, of Hazlet, has 20 RBI and has scored 20 times while batting .338.

Alyssa Raimondo, of Toms River East, is slugging .677 with nine doubles, a triple and two home runs. The sophomore is batting .415 and has 19 RBI with 17 runs scored.

Freshman Tara Daukshus, of Howell, who is slugging .510 and batting .429, has batted in 15 runs. Alyssa Vetrano, of Middletown North, is slugging .514 while batting .351 with 14 RBI, adding to the team’s production.

Sophomores Tori Luccarelli, of Brick Memorial, and Elizabeth Dorsa, of Middletown North, have been the catalysts at the top of the lineup. Luccarelli is batting .369 and has scored a team-high 23 runs. Dorsa is batting .426 and has touched home plate 22 times.

Pitching, Scannapieco pointed out, has been the focus of the early season. Coming up with a dependable rotation was a concern heading into the campaign, but the hurling of sophomore Jessica Pszeniczny, of Monmouth Regional, freshman Kathy McGovern, of Neptune, and Raimondo – when she’s not at shortstop – has eased his concerns. Pitching could turn out to be a team strength. The Blues’ trio of pitchers has a combined 3.53 earned run average.

Pszeniczny has been the busiest in the circle, hurling 67 innings. She is 7-3 and has one save and is pitching to an earned run average of 3.24. She was named the Garden State Athletic Conference Division III Player of the Week on April 3.

McGovern has been an important addition to the team. She is 6-2 and has a 3.32 ERA in 52.2 innings of work.

Raimondo is 3-1 in 19 innings of pitching. Scannapieco expects her to log more innings as the season progresses.

Brookdale, which is 2-0 in the Region XIX and GSAC play, will be looking to stay high in the standings as the season rolls along. A top four seed in the May 5 Region Tournament at Cumberland County gives a team a first round bye, making it easier to grab one of the two spots available to qualify for the national championship tournament.