Valley Central ace Cindy Connoly to pitch at Mount Saint Mary

The local girl who has made good is staying local to continue her career.

Valley Central ace Cindy Connoly has decided to play at Division III Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh next season. It’s a huge recruiting coup for Mount Saint Mary, which is 14-6 this season. Mount Saint Mary has started three pitchers this season – sophomores Nicole Lomangino (5-1, 0.99 ERA) and Victoria Goldbach (5-1, 2.30 ERA) and senior Amanda Barrese (4-4, 5.21 ERA).

Connoly, who was also interested in SUNY Plattsburgh and the University of Scranton, burst upon the scene two years ago for Valley Central. With senior C.J. Kohler battling injuries, Valley Central coach Jordan named Connoly as his new No. 1 pitcher before the Section 9 title game in 2012, and she gutted out a 9-4 win over Minisink Valley. For an encore, she pitched a three-hitter in a 2-1 Class AA state quarterfinal win over defending state champion John Jay East-Fishkill, which had won 31 in a row. Connoly and Valley Central lost to Cicero North Syracuse 2-1 in the semis.

Connoly finished 2012 with a 10-2 record and a 1.90 ERA. She was 18-2 with a 0.91 ERA last season and tossed five no-hitters and gave up 61 hits in 123 innings with 141 strikeouts. Connoly hit .352 with a team-leading 20 RBI. She started off this season in classic Connoly form, tossing a two-hitter with 15 strikeouts in a 5-0 win over Washingtonville on Thursday.

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