While the J. Taylor Finley Middle School softball team most assuredly endured some growing pains this past spring, the Falcons did have several very fine players on their roster.
Finley compiled a 1-7 record, falling short of its goals in that category, but a core group of four eighth graders each turned in a strong season and many other athletes displayed potential that indicates they might be something special, too.
Coached by veteran Nancy Conlon, the 19-player squad included a dozen girls who were in their first year with the program. “This team worked hard, practiced hard and came together,” Conlon said.
Eighth graders Sophia Toscano (catcher), Jasjeet Kaur (shortstop), Ally Kustera (pitcher) and Noa Kimmelman (pitcher) paced the Falcons. Toscano, Kaur and eighth grader Lauren Holly were Finley’s captains.
“Sophia is quick behind the plate and has a very strong arm” Conlon said. “Jasjeet was solid at shortstop and has great range of motion.”
Kustera and Kimmelman were also impressive on the mound. “Ally and Noa shared pitching duties,” Conlon said. “Both are control pitcher and they both fielded their position well.”
The team’s lone victory came against Northport, 15-14. “We beat them in the last inning,” Conlon said. “Everything came together. We were strong offensively and defensively.”
The roster also included seventh graders Mackenzie Ahern, Nadeera Ali, Devon Boyle, Ella Kamenstein, Isabella Lanfranco, Tessie Maerz, Gabriella Miller, Leah Sheran and Haileigh Smith and eighth graders Sydney Cordeiro, Rachel Deegan, Hannah Roberts, Kathryn Sanseviro and Kristen Toomey.
Conlon is optimistic about the future. “Nine seventh graders can return next year,” she said.