Holy Child capped a phenomenal 12-3 softball season by winning the State title Tuesday. The Gryphons defeated Horace Mann 5-3 at Manhattanville College to win the New York State Association of Independent Schools Athletic Association (NYSAIS) championship. Senior Kathleen Samuelson was the winning pitcher.
By Melanie Cane
Holy Child capped a phenomenal 12-3 softball season by winning the State Championship on Tuesday.
The Gryphons defeated Horace Mann 5-3 at Manhattanville to win the New York State Association of Independent Schools Athletic Association (NYSAIS) championship.
Kathleen Samuelson, the team’s only senior, was the winning pitcher.
“I’ve been waiting four years for this,” she said after Tuesday’s win.
Samuelson’s victory over Horace Mann brought her record to 7-3. She’s been accepted to Brown University, where she plans to play softball.
The Gryphons’ success was thrilling – and unexpected — as they are a very young team, comprised mainly of freshman including ace pitcher Molly Leitner. The pitcher also can hit. Prior to an opening playoff game against Poly Prep, Leitner had the second most hits on her team, with 29, and the most home runs, with 11. Elizabeth Curcio is Holy Child’s top batter, with 30 hits.
The 3rd seeded Gryphons topped 6th-seed Dalton, 18-10, last Sunday at home during their first post-season playoff game, a quarterfinal of the NYSAIS tournament. They had previously beaten Dalton 5-4 on April 24 at Dalton.
Leitner pitched the entire game and hit a grand slam, batting cleanup.
Other freshmen players who were terrific at the plate were: Julianna Capasso who plays third base, shortstop Elizabeth Curcio, left-fielder Alexa Cipollone, and catcher, Millie Cavicchio.
Coach Jen Cirillo said she and the team were thrilled with such an exciting win:
“It was great! Truly a team effort!” Cirillo said.
The Gryphons advanced to the championship game by beating Poly Prep Country Day in the semifinals last Wednesday in Brooklyn.