Clement and Coniglio provide spark for SCC

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Sports Editor

RESERVE-One is a little over a year away from heading off to college.

The other one can’t even drive a car yet.

However, this weekend they will both be striving towards the same goal.

A state championship.

Junior pitcher Mary Clement and true freshman Lauren Coniglio will be two of the driving forces behind the Comets state championship run.

One of the best power hitters in the area, Coniglio hit .375 this season and had a pair of homeruns, including a monstrous homer in their first-round playoff victory over West Feliciana.

Relied heavily on for RBI’s, Coniglio welcomes the challenge.

“I think I have worked really hard to be where I am today,” Coniglio said. “I know that if I am just confident when I am up at the plate and just try to get a piece of the ball I will drive people in.

“I am ready for anything that comes to me and I am just ready to hit the ball.”

Coniglio said the success of the top of the order is vital to her ability to drive in runs.

“It is very important for the top of the order to get on base,” Coniglio said. “If you want to win a game you have to score runs. The top of our order has to get on base so that the 4-5-6 batters can drive them in.

“You can’t just play defense. You have to have runs to win the game.”

Despite only being 15-years-old, the state tournament will not be the first championship softball for Coniglio in her career.

“I have played for a state championship before in travel ball during the summer,” Coniglio said. “I know the pressures and everything that goes on in the game.

“When I am out there, i just put all the pressure out of mind and just focus on what I have to do to help my team be successful.”

Meanwhile, Clement has been the workhorse in the circle for the Lady Comets. On the season she is 14-11 and has picked up both playoffs wins for St. Charles Catholic.

“Having this not be my first time out there in Sulphur is really important,” Clement said. “Hopefully it will mean I am a little less nervous, although this will be my first time pitching because I was the designated player my freshman season.

“Being in the circle is a lot of pressure because after the game, the paper and people will say Clement lost the game or Clement won the game.”

Clement said she will use her previous experiences in the post-season to try and help smooth the transition for the underclassmen.

“I just tell them that you don’t need to be nervous,” Clement said. “There is nothing to be nervous about.They have never been here before. They have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

“Players like Lauren have three more years here and hopefully three more chances. They don’t need to really stress out about it the first time. Take it in stride. Work hard to get what you want, but don’t make it everything. I just tell everybody to have confidence in everything that you do out in the field.”

Clement welcomes the pressure of possibly pitching all three games.

“It’s very exciting,” Clement said. “Everybody has their good days and their bad days. Of course, when you are having a good day you want to pitch as much as you can.

“The possibility of getting the opportunity to pitch three games is awesome. If I am playing, I want to be as involved as I can and you cannot get any more involved than pitching.”

St. Charles Catholic Head Coach David Lowry said his team has a really good chance to make a run for the school’s second state championship and first since 1998.

“We are going to rely on Mary to pitch hopefully all three games,” Lowry said. “But if she can’t, we are still confident that we have two other girls behind her that can throw.

“However, we know from pervious experiences that you have to be able to hit the ball if you want to come away with your goal; a state championship.”