Mount St. Dominic coach Lorenzo Sozio generally throws compliments around about opposing players with the ease of the proverbial manhole cover.
So when the veteran coach was asked for his input regarding a first-team group of All-Essex players at the end of the 2012 season, Sozio was quick to add his support for then-sophomore shortstop Sammi Rothenberger of Livingston.
“If you’re putting together a first team, and Rothenberger isn’t on it, something’s wrong,” Sozio said. “Seriously, she’s that good. Her defense was the reason why we lost to them (in the 2012 Essex County final).”
Rothenberger has put together a tremendous career at Livingston. A three-sport standout athlete, she recently announced that she’ll be playing softball on the collegiate level at William Paterson University.
“I’m just glad it’s done, and I’m so grateful to (William Paterson softball) coach (Hallie) Cohen for this opportunity. It’s a tremendous school and I’m so excited.”
Rothenberger will see a few familiar faces at WPU this fall, including former Livingston teammate Rachel Wasilak and one-time Cedar Grove standout pitcher, Gabby Castelli. Wasilak and Castelli are freshmen at the NJAC school this year.
“Obviously, I know Rachel real well, and Gabby Castelli has been a big time opponent for three years,” Rothenberger said. “It will be good to play with them next year.”
Called a ‘stud’ by a number of opposing coaches, Rothenberger is the new ‘Riva Ridge’ of this blog.
More importantly, Rothenberger guided Livingston to a tremendous soccer season last fall, including a berth in the Group 4 semifinals as the team’s goalie. An excellent basketball player, too, she has been one of the key players in Livingston’s phenomenal run as a softball program since 2012.
The Lancers have won back-to-back Super Essex Conference, Essex County Tournament and state sectional championships. The team is 37-1 in county and league play over that period and 58-5 overall.
Livingston softball coach Jason Daily is pleased with Rothenberger’s college choice.
“I’m glad she’s made her final decision,” Daily said. “Sammi is a great kid, a hard worker, and I’m confident she can do the work at the next level to succeed. I’m very happy for her.”