Don’t run on Telecommunications’s Emily Bianchino and Susen Gutenkunst. That’s what the Catholic league players learned early in the Mayor’s Cup softball all-star game.
Both playing away from their normal positions, Bianchino and Gutenkunst nonetheless each threw out runners from right field to keep the Public School Athletic League squad in the game before it fell 9–0 at the annual senior contest at the College of Staten Island on June 12. The feat hadn’t hit the duo until after the game.
“I didn’t really think of it until just now. That’s kind of cool,” said Bianchino before receiving a celebratory high five from Gutenkunst.
Bianchino, who is the Yellow Jackets’ center fielder, started the game in right. She chased down a drive by Molloy’s Alexandra Yule and made a perfect, deep cutoff throw to Forest Hills second baseman Maxine Sanchez. She cut down Yule at third as she tried for a triple.
Gutenkunst did her one better in the fourth. She is Telecom’s catcher during the season, but will play the outfield in college at Hunter. St. Edmund’s Nicole Quintana lifted a fly ball to right. Gutrkenst caught it on the run and threw a perfect strike to home to nail Bishop Loughlin’s Essence Walker at the plate to keep the score 5–0 in favor of the Catholic schools.
“I was just going through all the situations before the play,” Gutenkunst said. “I knew the girl was going to try to tag up. I figured on a fly I needed to go home, and I guess it just worked out.”
Fontbonne head coach Frank Marinello sent Walker from third. In an all-star game you are never sure of the other players’ skills, but he called Gutrkenst’s toss to the plate “a perfect throw.” Bianchino knows wherever Gutenkunst is on the field, her arm will be a factor.
“No matter where she plays, she will have a good arm,” Bianchino said. “It’s no surprise she got the girl thrown out at home.”
But their defensive prowess wasn’t enough to stop the Catholic league from picking up its fourth-straight Mayor’s Cup victory. It scored four times in the first inning with help from two errors, and added another run in the second to make it 5–0.
Fontbonne Hall third baseman Ariana Dillon played a big role in the four-run eighth inning that put the game well of reach. She singled to left to score Sacred Heart’s Madison Carlo for the game’s final run. Dillon also walked and scored a run back in the second inning.
“It’s sad that my high school career is now over,” she said, “but it’s cool that it ended with a hit. It’s emotional for sure.”
The victory made the experience even better for Dillon, but it wasn’t what she enjoyed most. Dillon was able to play alongside teammates Jill Nixon and Raphaela Sicurelli-Gerber one more time, and teamed up with girls she and the Bonnies have been trying to beat for four years. St. Edmund’s Stephanie Samir and St. Saviour’s Natalie Gil also took part in the game.
“It’s amazing,” Dillon said. “Usually, we are competing against each other. To come together and see each other for the true people that we are, and not just for someone we face, is amazing. You see different sides of people.”