Starting high school in one place and finishing in another wasn’t the plan for Gianna Fazzolari.
But as the regular season wraps up the Lockport catcher has adjusted well to her new home.
“It feels great,” said Fazzolari on Saturday. “The change has been great. The people are great. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
The junior catcher certainly felt great Saturday afternoon when the Lions swept Niagara Frontier League rival North Tonawanda in a doubleheader (3-0 Game 1, 11-4 Game 2) at Niagara Falls High School.
They were much needed wins for a Lockport team that was coming off a 16-15 loss to Niagara Falls on Friday.
“We hit really well today,” Lockport coach Megan Anderson said. “It was a tough loss last night and they bounced right back.”
Fazzolari went 2-for-3 in the first game scoring a run and helped guide pitcher Amanda Bugna to a complete game shutout. In the second game, the Canisius commit was just as dominant. She showed off her command from behind the plate completing a double play in the first inning. After a called third strike, Fazzolari didn’t miss a beat throwing out a runner trying to steal second base.
At the dish, Fazzolari was 3-for-4 scoring three runs and capped off her day with a three-run homer that went just inside the left field foul pole.
Fazzolari, who was First Team All-Catholic in 2017 and 2018, has been a huge bolster to the Lions’ lineup this season after transferring from Sacred Heart over the summer.
“She’s been a blessing,” Anderson said of Fazzolari. “She’s fit right in. You might think of a player with her caliber, she would be all cocky and arrogant but she’s not at all. Catching is a tough position and she’s great at it. She also hits the ball very well.”
The pair of wins Saturday make the Lions 9-6 in league play and 9-7 overall.
But despite their average or above average season so far, Anderson was quick to call her 2019 squad the “funnest” she’s ever coached.
“They’re a great group of girls that all get along well,” Anderson said. “In our cheer, we say ‘family’, that’s been our motto all season.”
That team spirit made it easy for Fazzolari, who called herself “kind of shy”, to feel welcomed and quickly gelled with her new teammates.
“All of us have a really good connection,” Fazzolari said. “I like to get close all my teammates, so it feels like a family and we all play like we’re supposed to. This is probably the strongest one (connection to a team) I’ve felt so far.”
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