As a senior this season, Cuomo had to step up as a leader in addition to helping the team behind home plate. Cuomo has used her leadership and work ethic throughout the season to help her teammates on the field whenever she can.
“Softball is about being a role model and [a] leader within the team, and it’s really important to carry over those [leadership] skills onto the field because it is a team sport,” said Cuomo.
While at PHS, Cuomo has carried this aspect of leadership off the field and into the school environment, where she has participated in leadership programs, such as Teen Pep and Big Brother Big Sister. Cuomo takes pride in her leading role on the team and specifically enjoys serving as a catalyst for good team chemistry, helping with the teamwork and ties between the softball players.
“I really like playing on a team, having a connection with girls, and just having friends within the field, knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Cuomo said.
One of Cuomo’s strengths as a softball player is framing and receiving the ball in such a way that the umpire will think it’s a strike. This prowess displays Cuomo’s ability as a team player, using her connection with fellow senior pitcher Kayla Volante ’17 to strike out batters.
“I want to catch the ball for my pitcher [Volante], and we want to play well for each other,” Cuomo said.
Head Coach Marissa Soprano values this unique skill that Cuomo possesses for the team.
“Her defense and definitely her ability at framing the pitches [have] been really strong for us,” said Soprano. “She also deals very well with the umpires, even though they can be a little difficult sometimes. She has made a huge difference for our team.”
Cuomo, Volante, and Nancy Gray ’17 are all seniors who have helped carry the team as upperclassmen over the past two seasons. Last season, the team defeated rival West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South for the first time in program history.
“She has grown a lot over the last four years,” Soprano said. “She has gone into more of a leadership role and has gone into her own. We really look to her during the games to keep [Volante] focused and to help the girls on the field.”
This season, Cuomo had high hopes for the team to finish on a positive note. However, despite their latest 0–7 loss against Marlboro High School, Cuomo still remains positive about how the game played out.
“We started off the game really strong, and that’s what our coach was looking for — a strong start. Then we fell a little flat in the middle of the innings, [but] we really tried our best.”
Although Cuomo doesn’t intend to continue her softball career out of high school, instead placing a focus on future coursework, she will retain her leadership skills and strong ties with her teammates.
Cuomo’s advice for aspiring softball players is simple but earnest.
“Just play your hardest at every game and have a positive attitude,” Cuomo said. “Because even if you’re down but have a good attitude, you will do good things.”