Senior Alessandra Milardo of the St. Paul softball team and junior Noah Plantamuro of the Bristol Central baseball team share the “Athlete of the Week” spotlight for area scholastic sports this week.
Milardo, the daughter of Sebastian and Tina Milardo of Southington, pitched and hit well in the Falcons’ two wins last week, 8-0 over host Waterbury Career Academy on Wednesday and a five-frame 21-2 victory over host Plainville on Friday.
“Alessandra came to St. Paul four years ago and headed us back to our winning ways,” Falcons coach Gary Hovhanessian said. “In her first two starts this year, she has struck out 13 batters in seven innings and 12 in five innings for two wins. She gave up just one earned run.
“At the plate in the two games, she had two hits in the first game, including a double, and went 5-for-5 Friday, and that included a double. She’s passionate about the game of softball.”
Milardo reflected on those first two games.
“We won because as a team we have good camaraderie,” Milardo said. “Also, we hit the ball well and executed the plays we needed to make. Lastly, as a team we are very focused and motivated by our coaches.”
She added that the team goal this season is to have a better record than last year, make it to the state tournament and win it. Last year, Milardo and her teammates went 14-8 overall while reaching the second round of the Class S tournament.
“My own personal goals are to improve my hitting and pitching stats and to provide supportive leadership to the team,” Milardo said.
Asked what playing sports at St Paul has done for her - she’s also been the goalie for the girls soccer team - Milardo talked about the benefits.
“What I have gotten out of playing sports is learning how to be a team player, a leader, and learning how to tackle challenges with confidence, and taking every opportunity,” she said.
Milardo will stay in the area next year as a college freshman. An honors student at St. Paul, she will attend St. Joseph’s University in West Hartford, where she will study elementary education while also playing softball for the school.
Plantamuro was a standout in Bristol’s Central’s lone game last week, a season-opening 9-8 walk-off victory over Berlin on Wednesday at Page Park.
“Noah is a three-year starter, starting as a freshman at shortstop, and he’s an anchor on defense for us,” Rams coach Bunty Ray said. “I expect him to commit to being a leader on the field. Now that he’s older, I’m expecting his offense production to go up as well. The ceiling is very high for him. I see him playing at the next level.”
Ray added that his junior gave an overall solid performance in the Berlin contest. He played flawless in the field and had an RBI single in the first inning.
When the Rams were down 8-6 going into the seventh, Plantamuro started a three-run rally with a double to help give the game to Bristol.
“We did pretty good,” Plantamuro said. “Offensively, we had 13 hits, and our starting pitcher [Kenny Knox] went deep. The only trouble we had was communicating in the outfield. It was good for the team to win the first game.”
Asked about a team goal this season, he said it was to win the conference title and have a home game during the state tournament. Last year the Rams went 12-10 and lost in round two of Class LL play.
An all-conference pick last year, he hopes to earn higher recognition this spring.
“Hopefully, [I want] to get All-State,” Plantamuro said, adding that he enjoys the shortstop position.
“I like taking over games as the team leader on the field,” Plantamuro said. “I like making plays in the hole, making the long throw from short to first base. I’ve been playing the position my whole life.”
That includes having worked his way up through Edgewood Little League play, middle school and playing for the AAU CT Blue Jays out of Plainville.
In addition to baseball, Plantamuro has been playing JV basketball and said that he does that to stay in shape during the winter.
Contact Bob Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org.