In the middle of what turned out to be a marathon contest between two outstanding teams on April 21, Immaculate Heart Academy catcher Mia Recenello was in the process of catching another be-be from pitcher Ryleigh White, when suddenly Recenello went running to the sideline, in obvious pain.
The junior had been hit by a foul pitch, and the impact caught her fingers, as well as the nail, on her throwing hand. Writhing, she attempted to catch her breath, and as the pain subsided, she had to convince herself that she’d be able to not only play, but catch and throw back to White, something which seemed routine just a few minutes earlier.
Recenello flexed the hand noticeably, and even kept her hand behind her back, while catching with the natural glove hand. Throwing back to the pitcher seemed to be an issue, but for the kid dubbed ‘The Natural’, because she hit a homer last season, which hit the scoreboard, similar to the epic movie with Robert Redford, it was time to grind it out.
Recenello not only did that, but she would come to bat in the top of the 10th inning and laced a triple to drive in the game’s first run. It was just the second hit allowed by Recenello’s long-time friend, Mia Faieta, of Cedar Grove, and it set the stage for two runs, as Recenello would eventually come home on a single by Danica Yatko and, appropriately, slid into the plate, hand first.
With a 2-0 lead, IHA bore down, as Cedar Grove would start a rally. But again, it was Recenello who made a huge defensive play, diving to catch a foul ball for the crucial first out.
Recenello resides in Cedar Grove and knows all the players on the Panthers’ roster. In fact, Recenello and Faieta were each cut from their first softball team, as 10 year olds, in Cedar Grove.
Mia Faieta (left) and Mia Recenello have known each other for a while. (Click on photo for larger image)
(Read about the early days of the ‘2 Mias’.
Following the game, Recenello was met by her parents and younger sister. She then sought out Faieta, who was chatting with White about the just-completed game between IHA and Cedar Grove. (Faieta and White are teammates on a club team in the summer and fall). The two Mias hugged and another game was completed.
Mia Recenello and her family, left to right, her dad, Sam, mom, Kristen and younger sister, Talia, along with the family’s dogs, were all smiles after an exciting victory at the Black and Gold Tournament. (Click on photo for larger image)
Both young ladies had exemplified a championship character, and for Recenello, overcoming a painful injury to lead her team to a big win could go a long way in IHA’s quest to win another state championship in early June.