Experience a key for Oceanside


No seniors on last year’s Oceanside softball team means no new faces as all 15 girls returned. With six seniors in the fold, the Sailors have grown together plenty.

“The girls have grown together, they’ve known each other for so long,” coach Carlo Quagliata said. “They kind of figured each other’s tendencies, they know during game situations who to go to. It’s just the familiarity of each other and just being around each other for all these years.”

With that, comes confidence and finesse.

The first player to look for that confidence is in the catching role, where Sophie Nesturrick dons the gear. A varsity player since freshman year and currently committed to play for Fordham University, coach called her the best catcher in the county.

On the flip side of that, Oceanside also boasts three pitchers, between whom Quagliata hasn’t decided who will go in which order: senior Olivia Ikes, junior Kate Hyland and sophomore Caroline Ferchland. Ikes and Hyland have that traditional 10 mile-an-hour drop-off between their fastball and changeup, along with their respective off-speed pitches, including a riseball, dropball, screwball and curveball. Ergo, that range makes them that much harder to hit against when they’re in the circle.

That leaves the youngest, Ferchland, who Quagliata described as a power pitcher. “Caroline, she’s definitely the strongest; she just throws the hardest,” he said. “Caroline is just pure power.”

In a macro sense, being in the top conference in Nassau County, offensive production is the number one priority.

“I focus on our offense; our offense is great,” Quagliata said.

On the offensive side, the biggest bats in the lineup are Nesturrick, the catcher, who’s already been standing out, along with senior center fielder Samantha Chaisson and junior Christina Vlahakis. Chaisson brought home All-County honors for the last three years, and Vlahakis was an All-County and All-State player last year.

But there’s more to softball than big bats. It’s most obvious with the leadoff hitter, Riley Moylan, the only leftie slap hitter according to Quagliata.

“She’s a star, she was All-County last year, one of the fastest girls in the county,” Quagliata explained. “She's special because she's a high on-base person. She's got [a] great contact rate [and] she's also an All-State triple jumper and long jumper so she's running track at the same time, so she’s a real impressive athlete.”

With other contact hitters like Maya Levi and Vlahakis in the two and three spots, who Quagliata described as batters who “put the ball in play every time,” the offense has lots of tools.

So while the offense is straight forward, it’s not limited to just the top of the lineup either.

“We have girls who could just, I mean, put it over the fence right down to the eighth spot in the lineup,” Quagliata said. “We have a lot of girls who just have power, you know, just to get hold of the ball, especially if the pitcher provides the speed, it just goes so.”