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Article mentions softball pitcher recruit.

Sports Print EditionNassau Insider
Seaford aiming for state title

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April 20, 2007

The Seaford softball team isn't keeping its expectations a secret. While many players are programmed to give the cliched, one-game at a time response, Seaford doesn't fall into that category.

Seaford, which went undefeated in league play last season, is aiming for a state title after last year's dream was derailed by a loss to Glen Covee in the Nassau Class A semifinals.

"It was surprising," senior pitcher Chris Hilcken said. "We could have done better. We didn't come out with the same spark. Now we treat every game like it's the last. I always put pressure on myself to achieve. My goals are to return to states and win it."

Seaford is off to a 7-0 start, outscoring the opposition 45-8. If Seaford is clicking on all cylinders, the Vikings will be difficult to beat. A 9-0 win over Glen Cove on Wednesday provided a glimpse of that. The Lafayette-bound Hilcken threw a no-hitter, walked one and struck out 15.

"Our goal is to win the state tournament," Seaford coach Rob Perpall said. "We know we have a target on our back as the No. 1 seed. We respect everybody and fear nobody."

But Seaford is well aware it only gets more arduous to pile up the wins as the season goes progresses.

"It's really hard to go undefeated in softball," Perpall said. "If the bats go silent, it's tough. We're using last year as a learning experience. We learned that every game starts 0-0, regardless what the odds are or what people say. If we play to the best of our ability, we can beat anybody."

Seaford has a strong nucleus with Hilcken, senior third baseman Gen Falco, junior catcher Jen Heenan and senior rightfielder Tara DeGeorge as well as some talented freshmen. A mix of talent and good chemistry has Perpall thinking big.

"I know it sounds corny, but I've been coaching high school sports 37 years and you win with chemistry," Perpall said. "I've had teams with good players and the chemistry was missing and it doesn't work."

Seaford has put itself in the upper echelon the past few seasons, winning its first county and Long Island championships two years ago and is 42-8 since 2005. Even with that success, the Vikings want a state title to solidify their place in history.

"We have to go out and prove it," Perpall said. "Sometimes that added pressure makes it difficult. It's my job to prepare the girls mentally for that."

Good article, LCLF. Maybe we'll see you at the baseball playoffs, if you can find time to get out and support our athletes for a change. (Bring hot dog money)

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