Saturday, November 14, 2009

Jessika-Jo Sandrini Signs With Siena

ADNA, WA — Jessika-Jo Sandrini has been to the Big Apple once, and at the end of the 2009-10 school year the Adna senior will be packing her bags for New York to pitch on a full-ride scholarship.

She’s retiring her Pirate banner to become a Saint, as the ace behind her team’s 2009 State 2B Softball Championship signed a letter of intent to attend Sienna College in Loudonville, N.Y., Wednesday night.

“I’m really excited,” said Sandrini, the 2009 State 2B Tournament MVP and the AP’s State 2B Player of the Year. “I’ve worked hard for an opportunity like this. It’s far away, but I should be fine.”

Sandrini is set to join a Siena Saints’ team coached by Deanna Parks, which participates in the NCAA Division I’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The 2010 Siena team doesn’t have a single player from west of New York in the interior United States, and features and active roster with 16 of 19 players from either New York or New Jersey.

She had other opportunities, but what sold Sandrini was her tournament team’s trip to New York, where she was scouted by Parks.

“I’m going there to pitch, which is what I wanted,” Sandrini said. “(New York’s) just an amazing place.”

Pirate coach Mike Raschke said Sandrini has made a huge impact on the Adna community through her playing career.

“Having that state title probably put us on the map,” he said, “But something like this — it’s big. She deserves it; she’s worked hard at everything she does.”

A large crowd was on hand to help her celebrate at the Sandrini gym in Adna Wednesday night, including representatives from several other area softball teams.

“You can see by the turnout here how many people really respect her and what she’s done for this community,” Raschke said of the star pitcher, who struck out 201 batters last season while boasting a .526 batting average. “Other schools were looking at her to be a utility player and stuff, but to actually do what she wants to do — and pitch — is big.

“We have one more year and hopefully her and the rest of the girls can bring another one home for us.”

Back-to-back titles in softball is what Sandrini has in mind come spring, but for now the Adna senior is focused on her fall sport. The Pirates enter the State 2B Volleyball Tournament Friday in Yakima with a matchup against Liberty Bell.

Notes: According to the its Web site, Siena is a private school that enrolls just over 3,000 full-time students, with the motto of “Developing leaders capable of extraordinary achievement.”

This is a big signing for Siena.
More about Jessika-Jo's freshman season:
IMPRESSIVE DEBUT: While Howell came into the tournament with most of the attention, it was Adna freshman Jessika-Jo Sandrini who wound up making perhaps a bigger impression these past two days.

She fanned 12 in the third-place game against Pe Ell, capping a four-game run Saturday that saw her total 54 strikeouts. Sandrini had 69 in her final five games after getting 15 in a 2-1 quarterfinal loss to Concrete on Friday, losing a duel with Howell.
(Source: Concrete High School Website)

When she begins her career with the Saints, Jessika-Jo may get an opportunity to face off against another Washington native, Fairfield's Sarah Minice.

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