The Princeton Day School Varsity Softball team enjoyed an eventful season this spring with a combination of talented newcomers, steady veteran leadership and a strong team dynamic that fueled a 7-4 overall record and excitement about future growth.
In her second year (first on the field) as Head Coach and her fourth year with the program, Angela Parascando feels good about the direction of the program after entering the season light on numbers and with a lot of youth in the pipeline.
"I'm proud of how the whole team came together starting as far back as last spring when we were remote. The work really started then and it was big to have our two incoming recruits on the team Zoom calls last March, and also to incorporate the five current eighth graders into our practices since they didn't have a season. I believe their collective work throughout the whole year leading up to and through this season will pay dividends in the long-term," Coach Parascando noted.
The two aforementioned recruits, Adriana Salzano '24 and Colleen Mayer '24 made a big splash in their first season as Softball Panthers in all facets of the game. They didn't waste much time making a mark either, as both threw no-hitters in the team's first and third game of the season, both against Pennington. "They can play anywhere I put them, their bats come alive at the plate and they're exactly what this team needs to help build this program to where we want to be. I'm looking forward to seeing them grow throughout their four years here," Coach Parascando said.
One of the buoys of the team was the leadership of senior captain Abby Weinstein '21. A four-year player for the program, Abby served as a great role model for the rest of the team on and off the field while also continually developing her skills to contribute in the field and at the plate. (Scroll down for more on Abby in Coach Parascando's remarks from the team's Senior Day celebration.)
In a schedule that featured a wide range of competition, Varsity Softball always came to play and with an unbreakable spirit and constant support for one another. "One notable thing about this season is that we won the games that we expected to win, which wasn't the case in some recent years," Coach Parascando shared.
"When we played really strong teams like Hun and Gill St. Bernard's, the girls kept their heads up and kept battling no matter what the score was or how their personal games were going. That type of mindset is something you dream of as a coach because it isn't something you can teach. With that mindset in place and the ability to build on the successes and the lessons of this season, we're right on the path we want to be on," she concluded.
Senior Day Remarks from Coach Parascando
Hannah Choe '21
"I only just met Hannah this year. She reached out to me saying that she would like to play on the team this season because she heard that we needed players. She is actually a hockey player here at PDS and I always welcome hockey players because I find that they are fearless! This may be her first time on the varsity softball stage but not her first time playing softball. I could clearly see her skills improving as the season went on and she practiced with us more. The first hit she got this season was a double to right field and I was going crazy over at third base with excitement. She was so humble about it and I admire that about her. I am grateful that she stepped up to the plate (literally and figuratively) this season and I wish her all the best!"
Abby Weinstein '21
"I have known Abby now for quite some time and she has certainly never been shy. She would always ask me questions about her technique or about the game in general, which I always admire in my players because that is how they get better. Abby has been on the team as long as I have been coaching here and, in fact, she was even part of the selection team when the head coaching position opened up two years ago. She didn’t let me off easy as she asked me some pretty tough questions about how I planned on leading the team.
All kidding aside, Abby has been a dedicated member of this team all four years and she earned the title of captain last year and this year. She has been holding down the left side of the infield for us and proved to be an important part of the lineup as well. Off the field, she was helpful this past year in recruiting when I needed a current player to jump on a Zoom call and answer questions that players had about academics. I am sad to see her go but I wish her all the best!"
Head Coach: Angela Parascando
Assistant Coach: Lyndsey Buckley
Assistant Coach: Alyssa Falsetti
Nora Appleby '23, Josephine Baranski '23, Hannah Choe '21, Ava Daniel '23, Jenna Galla '23, Colleen Mayer '24, Courtney Richter '22, Adriana Salzano '24, Haley Schragger '23, Veronica Vogelman '22, Abigail Weinstein '21
For more information on the PDS Softball program, visit the team page here.
Photos (from top): players celebrating a play in the field (by Nancy Erickson); Senior Day photos of Hannah and Abby with their families (by Jamie Will); Adriana Salzano with a big swing at the plate (by Nancy Erickson)