Lady Spartans Ink Seven Players In Early Signing Period

Talented group of recruits hail from California, New York, New Jersey

St. Thomas Aquinas College Head Coach Kristen Sullivan announced Thursday the signing of seven student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play on the college’s women’s softball team.

The Lady Spartans come off a much-improved 2017 spring season when they posted 18 wins, the most wins by the program in recent memory, and sustained the momentum since Sullivan took over three years ago. Sullivan feels the new crop of recruits will help the program take another major step forward.

“These seven recruits will add speed, strength and knowledge of the game to our team,” said Sullivan. “I’ve been impressed with their level of dedication, passion and ambition. In addition to their success on the field, they have excelled in the classroom. We are very fortunate to add these gifted athletes and look forward to seeing them develop on the collegiate level.”

Here is a look at the new players:

Kim Astrologo (Mahopac, N.Y.): Astrologo has been Mahopac High School’s starting shortstop for four seasons. Last season, her excellent all-around play helped her win All-Section honorable mention and All-League honors. She plays travel ball with Team Long Island.

Amanda Castro (Long Beach, Calif.): Castro batted .344 last season at Woodrow Wilson High School and led her team to a 16-14 overall record and 9-3 in the league. She was named the league’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year for her ability to play multiple positions. She plays travel ball for Team Easton Burkhardt.

Lauren Christensen (Salem, N.Y.): Christensen has compiled an impressive .518 batting average in her two-year varsity career at Salem Central High School. In 49 varsity games, she has recorded seven homers, 84 runs and 79 runs batted in. She excels at catcher and third base and has helped the Adirondack Xtreme win nine tournament championships in the last two summers. 

Nicolette MacDonald (Pompton Lakes, N.J.) – MacDonald earned All-League and All-Passaic County honors at Pompton Lakes High School last spring. Last season, she batted .419 with 28 RBI in 22 games. She has been the team’s starting shortstop since her freshman season and also stars for the New Jersey Fight Blue travel team. 

Jacqueline Ribaudo (Staten Island, N.Y.): Ribaudo’s outstanding play helped Moore Catholic High School win the New York State Catholic state AA championship last spring with a 22-4 record. She batted .412 and excelled at third base. She has been a four-year varsity starter.

Lily Russo (Staten Island, N.Y.): Russo’s terrific pitching led Port Richmond High School to a 16-5 record last season and a berth in the PSAL city quarterfinals. In two PSAL playoff victories, Russo was 2-0 with 16 strikeouts and no earned runs allowed. She was named the Player of the Week twice by the Staten Island Advance and has been named to the newspaper’s all-star team for the last three seasons.

Sarah Williams (New Hyde Park, N.Y.): Williams has starred at second base and shortstop for St. Francis Prep. She batted an impressive .433 last season. St. Francis advanced to the state semifinals in 2016 behind Williams’ strong play. She helped the Long Island Elite win the Pony national fast-pitch title in the 14U division in 2015.

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