Lady Rams land stellar quartet of student-athletes on the Westchester-Putnam County All-Star team
July 4, 2019 at 8:25 p.m.
The Brooklyn Nets pro-basketball team won the All-Star free-agent sweepstakes when they signed hoops free agent superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving last Sunday (6/30) in a move headline writers called Brookwin.
Port Chester's Brooklyn, last named Ostrowski, had a Brookwin of her own by making her latest All-Star team while being joined by three other elite Lady Ram student-athletes.
Lady Rams junior slugging softball superstar Brooklyn (BK) Ostrowski led the local glitterati named to the Westchester-Putnam (WP) All-Star softball team as the leading lady in a stellar galaxy that also included her freshman kid sister Madison and sophomore Jenna Yusi, all returning next year.
Recent graduate Ayenaliz (Nani) Velasquez was also named to the WP All-Star Track & Field team and will compete for Ithaca College next year.
Seasons to remember
Each one of the Lady Ram standouts is coming off a season to remember.
BK, for example, was right near the top of ultra-competitive Section One Class AA in just about every offensive category with 13 home runs (second in Section One), a .587 batting average (second), runs batted in with 46 (second), slugging with 1.36 (second), on base percentage (fourth) and 31st in runs scored along with belting eight doubles and a triple despite being walked intentionally numerous times starting with her first at bat, thus depriving her of multiple chances to hit.
Even though most teams preferred to take the bat out of her hands by walking her, BK has a career .475 batting average (147 for 309) with 162 RBIs and 119 runs scored. She has been starting for the Lady Rams since the eighth grade, passed the career mark milestones for 100 base hits and RBIs as a sophomore, and has made the All-State team as a centerfielder and shortstop for the past three years.
College choice switch
BK was recruited to play college ball for Fordham University as a freshman by then Fordham coach Bridget Orchard of Rye Brook but switched to Villanova this year when Orchard became the Wildcats coach at her alma mater.
Brooklyn has already made the All-League, All-Section and All-State teams this year with the WP first team All-Star selection her latest honor, making her an overwhelming favorite to be named Port Chester's leading female athlete next year as a senior.
Ironically, kid sister Madison had a higher batting average (595) than BK for the second year in a row, finishing second in that category. Madi, who switched to batting left handed to gain a step out of the batter's box to capitalize on her speed, led Section One in RBIs with 48, was high up there in runs scored with 40 (third in Section One), sixth in on base percentage (.640), fifth in slugging percentage (.918) and 11th in home runs (three) along with 13 stolen bases, seven doubles and four triples.
Madi has also started for the Lady Rams as a freshman centerfielder, has made the All-League and All-Section teams and was named to the WP All-Star second team as an outfielder.
The Big and Little O
BK and Madi are called the Big O and the Little O for good reason as a Port Chester sister act for the ages with Madison hoping to join Brooklyn on the Villanova team.
Yusi, who hopes to play college ball, also made the All-League and All-Section team before rating WP Honorable Mention after compiling some amazing statistics for the Lady Rams including a .565 batting average (fifth in Section One) during a season that included being ranked first in runs scored (43), fourth in slugging percentage (.942), fourth in on base percentage (.655), eighth in RBIs (24), and fifth in home runs with four. She also ranked second in New York State in runs scored. Head coach Jeanine Maiolini calls Jenna the best leadoff hitter she has ever had in her nine years as the Lady Rams’ mentor who turned around a losing culture.
Trio of team players
What was just as impressive as the statistics compiled by the above-named stellar trifecta was the fact that each one of the trio volunteered to play out of position to help turn around a losing team that made the playoffs after a disastrous start.
Yusi was the key to the turnaround, volunteering to switch from concentrating on playing third base to return to the pitcher's mound to help stabilize a shaky staff. Madi also learned how to pitch so she could take turns on the mound. And BK, with a cannon for an arm in centerfield, her natural position, switched to shortstop because that's where the team most needed help.
All three are playing fast-paced travel team softball with the Empire State Huskies and hope to come back even better for the Lady Rams next year.
Up, up and away
Velasquez, an honors student who has been named Port Chester's top senior female athlete, was awarded WP Honorable Mention after making the All-League and All-Section team as a long jumper who is coming off one of the great T&F seasons in Lady Rams history in that event. She has won the League championship in the long jump (16:6) and sprinted to the 100-meter league championship (13:60). She also teamed up with Amanda Andreoli (the indoor league long jump champion), her training buddy since the seventh grade, to set the Doc Rasbeck long jump relays record of 32 feet-plus with a jump of 17 feet and a fraction while Andreoli went over the 15-foot mark,. Nani even anchored the Lady Rams’ gold-medal-winning sprint relay teams as part of a stellar quartet that included Arianna Carlucci, Moyah Cameron and Andreoli.
The Brooklyn Nets certainly did land a stellar free agent haul by signing All-Stars Durant and Leonard. But our local Brooklyn (last named Ostrowski) also had quite an All-Star haul by making the WP All-Stars along with fellow Lady Rams Madi Ostrowski, Jenna Yusi and Nani Velasquez. And that is a high school quartet that is very hard to beat.