Olivia DeCitise leads the charge, one last time, as Troy softball heads to state tournament

Two softball players celebrate

FILE - Troy pitcher Olivia DeCitise and catcher Olivia Ashline celebrate after recording the final out of the Section 2 Class A semifinals against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake last month

TROY — One way or another, there will be some tears between the Troy softball team this weekend, when the final out of its season is recorded at the NYSPHSAA Class A tournament.

The only question is whether they will be happy tears or sad tears.

“I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” said Troy senior Olivia DeCitise, who is entering the final weekend of her varsity softball career.

A left-handed pitcher and UMass Lowell softball commit, DeCitise has put together one of the most remarkable varsity careers that you’ll see in high school softball.

“Once we get there,” DeCitise said of the trip to the Moriches Sports Complex on Long Island, “there’s probably going to be some tears and we’ll cry together.”

“It doesn’t matter. If we make it to Saturday, win or lose, I’m going to be a mess,” she added. “Hopefully, it will be happy tears.”

Entering this weekend, the left-hander has recorded 770 strikeouts over 457 1-3 innings since her eighth-grade season in 2019. She has a 1.86 career ERA to go along with a 53-17 record.

Those stats came primarily while playing for a Class A team in the Suburban Council, a primarily Class AA league.

“We’ve been together the last five years, and it’s gone by quick,” Troy coach Sean Geisel said of DeCitise. “I’m trying not to think about that final out, whether it’s a win or a loss. She’s had a great career at Troy, and she’ll go on to do great things, both on and off the field. We’re extremely proud of her, but it hasn’t really set in yet that this is it.”

On top of her pitching statistics, her hitting stats are just as remarkable.

She owns a career .442 batting average, with 103 career hits. That’s accompanied by a .730 career slugging percentage, with 25 doubles, six triples and 10 home runs. She’s also accumulated 80 RBIs.

There’s only one stat that truly matters to DeCitise, however.

“Winning a state championship would be the most important stat, ever,” she said. “We have more heart than anyone else. We’ve put in so much work, but we wouldn’t be here right now without the heart of everyone on this team and how much they care.”

This season, DeCitise has posted a .500 batting average, with over 40 hits. She has eight home runs and 38 RBIs.

But she’s not the only threat in the lineup.

Olivia Ashline, a sophomore catcher, has over 30 hits, for a .369 batting average, having scored 39 runs as the leadoff hitter.

Katie Pryor, a junior infielder, is hitting .298 with six home runs, 26 runs and 22 RBIs.

“We have made so much progress with the bats,” DeCitise said. “Everyone, one through nine, is hitting on the team.”

The Flying Horses have also seen contributions from eighth-grade standouts Nadia Mulinio and Kaylee Kussler.

“They’re a big part of what we do,” Ashline said of Mulinio and Kussler. “I also have the perspective of having been an eighth grader on the team. It can definitely be nerve racking, but I think they’ve gotten more comfortable and I’m excited about how far they’ve come.”

Troy returns to the Class A state semifinals for the second straight year, having lost to Section 4’s Vestal last season, 4-2.

This season, for the first time, the state softball tournament is a two-day event. Should the Flying Horses win on Friday, they’d advance to the championship game on Saturday.

“Us going last year, we know the logistics of the tournament and what to expect, so our focus can really just remain on softball,” Geisel said. “I think playing in the Suburban Council and all those competitive non-league games, we’re prepared for anything and we have a bunch of multi-sport athletes who know how to compete.”

Troy (21-4) will be up against Section 5’s Webster Thomas (17-7) on Friday at 10 a.m. The championship on Saturday is scheduled for 11 a.m.

“It’s just been so rewarding to see that way that we compete,” Geisel said. “The fact that we’re one of four teams left in the state and we can still go out and continue this special year, it’s awesome.”

When next season eventually rolls around, Ashline isn’t just going to miss the left-hander in the circle, but she’ll also miss the dancing and joking around.

“It’s really going to be different,” Ashline said of DeCitise. “Just her personality, she brings so much to the team. When we’re having a bad day, she just brings life to us.”

“I know they’ll be fine,” DeCitise said of next year. “The legacy I want to leave on this program is just to put in the work for the things you want. It doesn’t matter if it’s on or off the field. Also, you’re allowed to have fun. Fun is allowed, we all make jokes and that’s why we’re here; softball is fun. It’s about making relationships you’ll have forever.”

Contact Kyle Adams at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @kasportsnews.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

Leave a Reply