PELHAM, N.Y. -- What began with barely enough girls to field two teams has morphed into an abundance of players for Pelhams entries into the annual Westchester-Putnam Baseball Association softball division.
Pelham varsity softball coach Keith Maley runs the program, which had five teams this summer, including two in the 10-and-under division. The 16-and-under and 12-and-under teams won their respective age divisions. The 12-and-under team went 12-2 and it was comprised of: Jessica Argento, Jules Argento, Jordan Amorelli, Clara Choate, Jessica Engel, Camryn Imperiale, Amarani Marin, Danielle Moretti, Meghan Petti, Tori Schepis, Katie Sciales, Rachel Senerchia, Holly Shea, Lauren Wolfe and Kristen Zinzi. Many of the girls who have come through the summer program, which debuted in 1998, went on to play varsity for Maley and also returned to coach. Lauren Perrillo, an all-Section player for Maley, coached the 16-and-under team and Jules Carfora, also an all-Section selection, is one of the 12-and-under coaches.
As a result of this summer program, Pelham has maintained a position among the top tier Section 1 teams. Terry Martell, father of Laura Martell, who played for me, came to me and suggested we begin to develop teammates for Kelly Morris for when the veteran upperclassmen, at that time, graduate, said Maley, who coaches the 14-and-under team each summer. The first year we had a 10-and-under team and a 14-and-under team. We had so few girls on the 14-and-under team that we had sixth graders playing with ninth graders.
That was then. Progressively, the number of girls increased, enabling Maley to add teams in the 12- and 16-and-under divisions. This summer, 65 players played for the Pelham teams, including 25 girls in the 10-and-under division. That was the highest turnout for Maley in the summer programs 14 years.
We didnt want to cut any of the girls so we made two teams, putting one in the WPBA and in the Westchester Baseball Association, Maley said. Maley has set up the summer program to mirror the varsity and junior varsity teams with the drills and approach.
Having his former players coach or be assistant coaches on the team enables the young girls to understand everything better. This summer, the 10-and-under teams had a trio of Pelham players, alumni Christina Anzilotti and Victoria Tiso, and current Pelham wind miller, Kelly Keith. The most important aspect about the summer program is that we do consistent instruction, starting with the young girls, so that it spirals upward, Maley said.
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