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Adriana Romano of Donovan Catholic had a magical senior season for the Griffins’ softball team, which culminated last month when they captured their second straight Tournament of Champions crown and finished as the top-ranked team in New Jersey. Romano, who is a standout pitcher and hitter, is the Shore Sports Network/92.7 WOBM Athlete of the Month award winner for June.

Romano’s season statistics were off the charts as she batted .535 with 7 home runs and 47 RBI and on the mound went 14-1 with an 0.48 ERA, 172 strikeouts in 86 innings and threw five no-hitters. A transfer from Barnegat, she was outstanding in both the Shore Conference and NJSIAA Tournaments and was a big reason why Donovan Catholic finished 29-1.

Romano, who will continue her career and major in Exercise Science/Kinesiology at Siena College, prevailed in the closest voting yet for the Athlete of the Month award.  She earned 29% of the votes cast to beat Toms River North baseball player Jack Tava by just seven total votes with Lakewood’s Matthew Sutton third. She will receive a specially engraved acrylic award from Ocean Trophies of Lanoka Harbor.  The program will return in September with the start of the school sports calendar.

Photo provided by Adriana Romano.

 

Q&A with Adriana Romano:

 

Q:     Now that the season is over and you’ve had some time to reflect, what are your thoughts about winning the T.O.C and finishing No. 1 in the state?

A:     Looking back, repeating as T.O.C champion is absolutely amazing to me!  Winning that was our goal for this season and we went out and did just that.  For me, this is my first and final T.O.C championship title. I transferred into Donovan Catholic my junior year and that year was taken away from us because of COVID-19, but for my senior year to end the way it did with the T.O.C and other titles, well I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Q:     You played this season with a target on your back as everyone wanted to play their best game against the Griffins.  How difficult was it knowing you would always get your opponents’ best effort?

A:     It definitely was a challenge for the team.  We knew everyone was coming after us and that we had to play our best all the time.  What helped with this, however, was the fact we believed in and supported one another.  So if a girl made an error or something happened, she knew the next girl had her back and was going to pick her up.  That helped us to keep fighting in each game and come out on top.

 

Q:     While we think we know the answer, is there one moment or game that stands out from among the rest for you?

A:      It would have to be the Non-Public A Final against Immaculate Heart Academy for many different reasons.  During that game, we fell behind and trailed IHA for most of it.  They were the only team to beat us during the season and we came in knowing that it wasn’t going to be an easy win.  In the bottom of the 7th we were trailing by three runs and down to our last out with nobody on base.  I remember thinking that we were likely to lose and I was getting a little emotional as I and the rest of the team did not want the season to be over.  When I got up to the plate, now with two runners on base, I was both nervous and emotional but managed to compose myself as I felt there was still a chance for us to win the game.  Well, I ended up hitting a 3-run homer that tied the game up and all my emotions just poured out.  I knew that it meant we weren’t going home just yet.  That game ended up going into extra innings and I had to calm myself as I went back in to pitch because we hadn’t won anything but rather just tied the game.  I kept IHA down and we eventually scored three runs and won it in the bottom of the 10th.  That game challenged me with my pitching and hitting and I’m happy to say I managed to rise to the challenge.

 

Q:     When you came to the plate in the bottom of the 7th with two runners on base and two out were you thinking home run?

A:    Actually, what I was thinking about was how I had to be patient and make something happen.  My goal was to hit the ball hard somewhere.  The last thing I was thinking was a home run, even though I had hit one in my previous at-bat.  I just wanted to keep the game going.  When I hit the ball, I knew right away it was out.  It felt just like the first one and I knew I hit that ball hard.

 

Q:     Were you recruited by Siena College as a pitcher, because you also played both center field and shortstop while in high school?  What made you chose that school and what are your plans for the rest of the summer?

A:     While they recruited me as a pitcher they do allow theirs to play the field and bat in the line-up, given they are good enough to play other positions.  I work hard as a pitcher, but also work just as hard as a hitter and fielder so I plan to try for all those positions.  I chose Siena for many reasons, including Coach Bump and Coach Cooper, the fact the campus is absolutely beautiful and not too far from home.  As for the rest of the summer, I want to play as much softball as I can and continue to train and prepare myself for the college game.

 

Photo provided by Adriana Romano.
Photo provided by Adriana Romano.
Photo provided by Adriana Romano.
Photo provided by Adriana Romano.

 

 

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