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HCCC Softball team returns home with national title

By GARY LIBERATORE

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - The women's softball team from Herkimer County Community College returned to the campus Monday as the best in the entire country, complete with a police escort and a large support group to great them the minute they stepped off the bus.

"It's definitely amazing. You know, it's all about the support and the support from the college has been phenomenal," said Head Softball Coach P.J. Anadio. "My four years of taking over the program, I wouldn't have expected anything else. That's what separates Herkimer from everyone else."

From flashbulbs to applause, the ladies exited the bus and entered the arms of loved ones, some of them shedding tears of happiness at the national achievement and recognition.

"Stephanie Siriano made the most phenomenal catch at any level of baseball or softball I've been involved with my entire life," Coach Anadio said. "She caught it on the run, and she ended up crashing through the wall and going over and holding it in her glove. It was an out and that's what they deemed it and that really saved the game for us out there.

"Before the ball got hit to me, I expected the worst that could happen and I'm like, when I saw the ball, I just gave my everything and I went for it and I caught it," Siriano said. "It was the best feeling I ever experienced."

The national title didn't come without a bit of controversy, as the opposing team thought Siriano's celebrated catch was illegal.

"Some were saying it was a catch and carry, so it should've been awarded a four-base, but that wasn't the case at all," said Coach Anadio.

"I caught it way before I fell over the fence, but I had so much momentum that I kept going through the fence," Siriano said.

The Generals ended the season at 43 and 2. Going into the big tournament, they were ranked number two, but came out number one.

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