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Hurricanes Super Season

posted Sep 10, 2013, 10:18 PM by Hurricanes Black

From the Journal News. 
Written by Karly Redpath and Debbie Schechter

Hurricanes enjoy a super season. 
14U Elite team finish with a 61-10-3 mark. 

 The Hudson Valley Hurricanes’ 14-and-under elite softball team capped an already successful summer by capturing the title at the PONY National Championships in Newtown, Penn. The Hurricanes beat the New Jersey Outlaws 8-2 in the championship game, scoring five runs in the bottom of the sixth to break the game open.

 “When the final out was recorded, we were screaming, jumping up and down,” Nyack’s Megan Sneeden said. “Some of us were crying. We were so excited because we couldn’t believe we just won. It felt amazing.” 

 Sarah Gunderson went 3 for 4 with two RBI in the championship game. Kelsey Oh and Ramapo’s Deangie Jimenez also each drove in two runs. New City resident Reese Guevarra went 2 for 3 and drove in a run. Carol Oberhelman and Sneeden also drove in a run apiece. Guevarra, North Rockland’s Alicia Bertolino and Sneeden combined to steal five bases. 

 Others who contributed were Scarsdale’s Emily Nishiwaki, North Rockland’s Amanda Schweitzer, Clarkstown South’s Gabby Palumbo and Suffern’s Taylor Sullivan. “When we won it was definitely the best feeling ever,” Bertolino said. “We showed how we can play as a team. I think it was great how we all battled together.”

 The team, coached by Kristen Sullivan, went 9-0 at nationals and 61-10-3 for the summer. 

Among other titles the 14U elite Hurricanes won this summer included the Premier Girls Fastpitch National Qualifier, the ASA “A” New York state tournament and the New Jersey PONY state title. The Hurricanes’ other 14-under team ended its season with a fifth-place finish at the USSSA World Series in Salisbury, Md. 

 Both teams are part of a larger Hurricanes program that has swelled to nine teams since Chris Montana started it in 2004 with just one 12-and-under team. Now it includes teams of 10-and-unders, 12-and-unders, 14-and-unders, 16-and-unders, 18-and-unders and even a 23-and-under team.

 The program is based at Vision Sports in Pearl River. But because of its reputation, many players travel from New York City and New Jersey to be a part of the program. Mary Wiley is a New Jersey resident who, despite living far from the Hurricanes’ home field, has been a part of the program since she was 11. “The Hurricanes absolutely helped influence my decision to continue playing softball in college,” said the 18-year-old Wiley, who will be a freshman at George Washington University. “I was able to see teammates who were older than me go off and play in college, and that played a big part. Some seasons have been better than others on paper, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.” 

 Taylor Forte, a Pleasantville resident, is much newer to the program, having been a part of it for about a year. But she, too, credits the Hurricanes with helping her prepare for college softball. “The girls in the program constantly push each other to be better,” said Forte, 18, who is heading off to Emory College. “Among other things, you learn that you have to work as hard as you can on the things you have control of. And, the things that you don’t have control of, you can’t let affect you. You have to keep playing your game.” 

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