By Thomas Scavetta
Assistant Sports Editor
Aly Dzierzynski, a senior Health Science major from Deer Park, handles the catching duties for the LIU Post softball team. Dzierzynski has emerged as a leader for the Pioneers and has been strong with her bat, posting a .291 batting average, in addition to her stellar defense.
Q: As a senior who has been on the team for four years, how have you grown as a leader who the younger players look up to?
A: When I was a freshman, I had really good leaders that helped me develop to the leader I am today. All five of my fellow seniors and I try day in and day out to set good examples for our underclassmen and teach the younger players how to be leaders when they get older, as well.
Q: When did you first start playing softball and what got you interested in it?
A: I was actually a soccer player when I was younger and my family friend convinced me to play softball when I was around 9 or 10-years- old. I also played tee ball, but I got nothing out of it. My dad was my biggest role model in playing sports because he played baseball, so I wanted to be like him.
Q: What’s the strongest asset to your game?
A: I would say my offense. I mean that’s the most exciting part of my game to me and I’ve gotten better as I’ve grown here. Coach Apicella has helped me so much in developing.
Q: How do you look to build on your 8-0 conference record when you take on Molloy in a doubleheader?
A: We go one game at a time and Molloy is one of our favorite games to play because they’re one of our conference rivals. So, we’ll take each game inning by inning, pitch by pitch, and hopefully come out with two wins.
Q: As a catcher, are you always working with the pitchers during games and practices?
A: The pitchers and I have a great relationship. Our pitching coach, Megan Butterworth, and I work day in and day out in the bullpen during practices and we’re always communicating during the game.
Q: What grabbed your interest into becoming a catcher?
A: When I was younger, I was honestly the only one who wasn’t afraid to put the gear on and shut my eyes when I was able to keep them open. I was a little tough one when I was younger so that had a lot to do with me becoming a catcher.
Q: What influenced your decision to attend Post?
A: Meeting with Coach Apicella was probably one of the biggest things that brought me here. I established that I wanted a guy coach and the program record was always something that I was interested in. We win a lot and we have a good reputation, which is something I wanted to contribute to and be a part of.
Q: Have you played any other positions besides catcher?
A: I’ve played first base and I’ve been a designated hitter a couple of times.
Q: What do you find most enjoyable about playing softball?
A: Definitely the team atmosphere is most enjoyable about softball. Being able to be on the field with my best friends and get some wins is what makes it fun.
Q: What’s your biggest goal this season?
A: We like to start with small goals, but of course we want to get to the World Series. Our little goals are finishing in first place in the regular season. Then we want to win the conference tournament, followed by the region, the super regionals, and get back to the World Series again.
Q: Who’s your favorite athlete and why?
A: It’s a mix between David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia. I’m a die-hard Red Sox fan, which is hard being from Long Island, but Pedroia is just a gritty player day in and day out. He does what he needs to do and leads by example. I also just love to watch David Ortiz hit home runs.
Q: Do you have any plans after graduating?
A: Right now, I am most likely taking a year off and going to nursing school the following year. I’ll also be giving lessons and possibly start coaching.