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Oceanside boasts youthful roster

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With more freshmen than seniors on Oceanside’s softball roster, coach Carlo Quagliata is excited about the future but also expecting the Sailors to improve as this spring unfolds and get in the Nassau Class AA contender conversation.

Oceanside, which reached the county championship series in 2019, won its first two games out of the gate but dropped each of its next four against Conference I foes. “We’re trying to get going again,” Quagliata said. “The whole county was grouped by ability this year so we’re playing the best of the best in AA and A. We’re a young team that’s been overwhelmed at times. But we’re learning and will be better as we go.”

The Sailors are navigating a challenging schedule with four freshmen starters: outfielder Samantha Chaisson, Sophie Nesturrick (pitcher/third base), Nicole LaRosa (second base) and Logan Denman (first base.) “They’re doing really well,” Quagliata said. “Up until a few weeks ago, they hadn’t played competitive softball since seventh grade.”

Setting the tone for Oceanside are seniors Courtney Murphy, Ashley Corr and Lizzie Laudicina. Murphy comes off an All-County campaign in 2019 and is headed to Adelphi University. She’s playing center field and hitting .315 through six games in the 2-hole. “Courtney is a lefty slap hitter with great speed and a great arm,” Quagliata said of Murphy, who hit a two-run triple in a season-opening 10-5 victory over Seaford.

Corr, who like Murphy has competed at the varsity level since her freshman year, has seen time in the outfield as well as behind the plate. She hits with power and fills an important role in the lineup, Quagliata said. Junior catcher/designated hitter Ashlee Martinez had three hits and drove in a pair of runs in the opener.

Laudicina is part of a 3-armed pitching rotation and has a good amount of zip on her deliveries, the coach noted. She struck out six Seaford batters in the opener and earned a save in a 3-1 win over MacArthur next time out. Nasturrick got the nod in a few games, while junior Skylar LoPiccolo brings a five-pitch arsenal. LoPiccolo recorded both of the team’s wins through six games.

The infield defense is anchored by junior shortstop Samantha Reyer, who played outfield last season. “She covers a lot of ground and has a strong arm,” Quagliata said. “Her uniform doesn’t stay clean for long. She’s a line-drive hitter and batting .350 so far.”

Chaisson is a tremendous contact hitter, Quagliata said, and moved into the leadoff spot after starting the year fifth. She homered last Friday in a loss at East Meadow and is up to .300. Junior Alex Vlahakis is another outfielder with speed. Nesturrick is batting clean-up.

Based on results through the first two weeks, Massapequa appears the team to beat in Class AA. “It’s good we face Massapequa and East Meadow twice and can make adjustments,” Quagliata said.