OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — The best pitcher-catcher combinations form a bond. The NYIT softball team's latest signees will arrive on campus with that rapport already cemented.
Softball coach Steve Christianson signed three players during the past week's early period: right-handed pitchers Emily Koerick and Jessica Budrewicz and catcher Ashley Budrewicz.
The latter pair are twin sisters out of MacArthur High School in Levittown, which is two-time defending Nassau County championships.
Jessica was named Nassau County pitcher of the year as a junior this past spring. Ashley was Nassau County playoffs MVP.
"When you bring in a pitcher like that, keeping the battery intact is great," Christianson said. "There's a comfort level between the two of them. And you can never have, in my opinion, enough catchers.
"They were getting recruited by separate institutions — just not as a package. There was only like one other school that was recruiting both of them. I also think they were very impressed with the visit here to the campus and the academic programs available for them."
Koerick, meanwhile, led Suffolk County in strikeouts last season as a junior and was the League 1 Pitcher of the Year.
"She has great size, great strength," Christianson said. "She's not going to look like a freshman. She's physically there. She throws hard. We're expecting big things from her. She's got great stuff. She has that bulldog mentality. She'll go right at you. She could be a threat offensively at times, too."
The pitching additions are particularly important because right-handers Ashley Russo and Sofia Evangelista are on track to graduate in May.
And Ashley Budrewicz's left-handed bat will arrive at the right time too, with slugger Christine Olivas entering her senior season this upcoming spring. The catcher may also see time at a corner infield or outfield spot.
"We're losing a big lefty bat," Christianson said. "That's what Ashley brings to the plate — a nice lefty-handed bat. I think through the years she'll be a power hitter for us."