YORKTOWN, N.Y.— Last spring Yorktown played its best at the end, finishing 12-11 and as the No. 11 seed in the Section 1 Class A tournament, made a run to the semifinals before falling to second-seed and eventual Class A state semifinalist Pearl River 4-0.
Ryan Iamurri, who coached the Huskers’ 2015 JV team, played on the 2012 Alabama national championship squad and is now the Huskers’ varsity head coach. She has a goal of making sure Yorktown’s momentum from that postseason run continues into this spring.
“When I was getting interviewed, this year seniors Gianna Degaltini and Stephanie Ragusa mentioned that they felt like the team just started to click toward the end of the year and they wanted to make sure it didn’t take an entire year again to feel that way,” Iamurri said. “So my job is for us to not start over but to build on the team that the previous coach — Christa Leighton — founded. I think the girls gained some valuable experience last year as a very young team, and hopefully we can take that into the season this year.”
The fact that Iamurri was the Huskers’ JV coach a year ago should make things easier in her new role as head varsity coach, crediting Leighton for building a solid foundation.
“She was high energy and a great female role model to them, which I intend on continuing to be,” Iamurri said. “Serving as her JV coach last year I was able to help out a bit at varsity practices, so I think it will be a smooth transition. Ashley Spina, my assistant coach and former pitcher at Manhattan College, is a great addition to the staff as well.”
Degaltini, who will play next year at Canisius College, and Ragusa, who will do her thing at Binghamton University, are two of the Huskers’ key returning players.
Ragusa is an outfielder who has a solid arm and at the plate is a lefty power hitter and slapper with speed.
Degaltini, from her shortstop position, provides athleticism, the ability to think fast and can hit for both average and power
Returning junior Brittany Giordano will play third base for the Huskers.
“Brittany has an amazing glove, a great passion for the game and is a power hitter,” Iamurri said.
Sophomore pitcher Erica Salveggi returns after pitching almost every inning last year for Yorktown and brings to the mound stamina, poise, and a strong mental focus.
A key newcomer for Yorktown this spring is freshman outfielder Sam Riccarduli, who is a strong lefty hitter and slap hitter according to Iamurri.
Because of increased enrollment, Yorktown is moving back up to Class AA for the sectionals after a year in Class A, something Iamurri feels the team is ready for.
“We are excited for the talent and competition in Class AA,” Iamurri said. “I know the girls are ready for the challenge.”
As for team goals, there are three of them for Yorktown.
“I want us to peak at the right time, never lose to the same school twice and make adjustments,” Iamurri said.
Yorktown will open the season at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 31 at Putnam Valley.