ELMHURST – Despite a standout career that included plenty of individual highlights, Angela Scalzitti's favorite York softball memory is one a teammate provided a year ago.
During last year's run to state, the Dukes required some dramatics en route to East Peoria. In the sectional final against Trinity, York was down to its last out, but Gracie Sullivan came up with a bases loaded triple to turn a 5-3 deficit into a 6-5 lead as York won the sectional.
"The Trinity game last year was my favorite memory because we were down with two outs with the bases loaded and Gracie comes through," Scalzitti said. "That gives me chills still."
The Dukes lost to Trinity in a sectional semifinal to end the postseason run this year, but the seniors that leave the program, Scalzitti, Taylor Pankau, Morgan Mehring and Hannah Latimer, were a part of the best three-year run in York history.
The current streak of three consecutive regional titles matches the best-ever run for York and includes the Dukes' only state trophy when they took fourth last year.
That couldn't prevent Scalzitti from being a bit down after York was unable to match last year's playoff run despite being the top sectional seed.
"I'm still pretty bummed about that loss," she said. "After the success last year you want to go just as far."
The DePaul-bound center fielder is playing with her summer team, the Northern Knights based in Wauconda, and received a workout plan from the Blue Demons for the summer. Since they are relatively close to Elmhurst, Scalzitti has seen the Blue Demons play multiple times each of the past two seasons and has been impressed with the speed of play.
"I've got to start lifting and doing speed drills and all that," she said. "I have to do well with my summer team and enjoy that while I can."
York returns plenty of talent next year with most of the team back, including key starters with state experience in Abby Solem, Isabella Jaeger, Brooke Bandy, Sarah Milkowski, Audrey Kosman and Gabby Magnifico. However, it will be tough for the Dukes to replace what they have lost.
"It's hard to lose a kid like that just because she does so much for our team offensively and defensively," York coach Drew McGuire said of Scalzitti. "The way she plays the game is just phenomenal. Offensively she sets the table for us."
While Scalzitti is enjoying being finished with school, she still wishes she had more time to play in a York uniform.
"It was a really amazing experience," she said. "I couldn't thank my teammates enough. I loved playing for Coach McGuire and Coach [Tom] Babyar my freshman year."
Sports to your phone
Visit http://shawurl.com/texts to sign up and receive sports scores and alerts from Suburban Life.