Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Star Pitcher Gives Saddle Brook Confidence

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Star Pitcher Gives Saddle Brook Confidence

Article excerpt

SADDLE BROOK - Taryn DiGiacomo could not believe it.

Of all the softball fields at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex, the Saddle Brook pitcher had to return to this one. The same diamond where a year earlier, she strained her right quad when she stepped on first base trying to beat out a ground ball during a spring training game. The injury affected her entire junior season.

Yet there she was again in March. The first game the Falcons would play was on that same field.

The memory was fresh in DiGiacomo's mind despite being healthy. Coach Darren White told her where they were headed as they walked toward the group of fields.

"I was like, 'You have to be kidding me,' " DiGiacomo said. " 'It couldn't be like the third or fourth game.' "

She made it through with no problem. It allowed DiGiacomo to move past last season and begin a new one. The senior left-hander has been dominant ever since, motoring the Falcons (19-2).

Seventh-seeded Saddle Brook will face 23rd-seeded River Dell today at 10 a.m. at Saddle Brook in the Bergen County Tournament round of 16.

DiGiacomo, a candidate for The Record Player of the Year, is 18- 1 with 190 strikeouts in 115 innings. She has allowed just seven earned runs (0.55 ERA) while walking only 20 batters. DiGiacomo, who bats third, also is hitting .581 with 12 doubles, two triples, 36 RBI and 35 runs scored.

"I had high expectations for her," White said. "I know how hard she worked in the off-season."

DiGiacomo felt she was at her peak form entering her junior season. She was poised for a big year.

Then she suffered a Grade 3 strain of her quad - a complete tear of the muscle - during the Falcons' final spring training game. DiGiacomo fell to the ground and screamed so loudly that a teammate getting ice from the athletic trainer in another area of the complex heard her.

She returned in mid-April after a month of recovery. DiGiacomo could pitch, but wouldn't be cleared to hit until the first round of the state tournament. …

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