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Rob Potter | Democrat

Livingston Manor’s Marissa Diescher winds up to throw a pitch during the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D softball championship game last month at Waterloo High School. She was recently named the state Class D Co-Player of the Year.

Manor softball players, coach receive state recognition

By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY — July 2, 2010 — Three weeks after they won the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D softball championship, some members of the Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats team have earned state awards.
Junior pitcher Marissa Diescher was named the Class D Softball Co-Player of the Year by the New York State Sportswriters Association and the Coaches Organization for Girls’ Sports.
Junior catcher Victoria Taggart was named to the Sportswriters Association’s Class D second team and sophomore right fielder Maggi Calo was named to the Sportswriters Association’s Class D third team.
In addition, Manor Co-Coach Kevin Clifford was named the Sportswriters Association’s Class D Coach of the Year.
For Diescher, the award was a pleasant surprise.
“I didn’t even know they had this award until my mother told me over the weekend,” she said on Tuesday evening. “I’m very happy to receive the award. I worked very hard this season and am glad to be chosen [Class D] player of the year.”
Diescher posted an 18-3 record with a 0.23 ERA this season. She struck out 339 batters in 142 innings and threw nine no-hitters.
One of her no-hitters was in Manor’s 4-1 victory over Germantown in a Class D state semifinal game on June 12 at Waterloo High School.
Diescher shares the award with Jessie Winans of Afton. Winans, a senior shortstop, had a .475 batting average this season, hit four home runs and had 32 RBIs. She helped the Crimson Knights win the Section IV Class D title and advance to the Class D state semifinals.
“I don’t mind sharing the award [with Winans],” Diescher said. “I am happy for her. She is a great player.”
Diescher was pleased that Calo and Taggart also received state honors.
“I am happy for both of them,” Diescher said. “They really deserve it.”
Diescher, who has already verbally committed to play Division I college softball for Penn State, is also glad that Clifford received a statewide accolade.
“I think it’s great for Coach Clifford and it gives more recognition to Livingston Manor,” she said.
Clifford was pleased that three of the Lady Wildcats received this prestigious recognition.
“She is very deserving of the award,” Clifford said of Diescher. “I think it helped that we played in the state semifinals and finals so people could see how dominating she was against top teams. She had a no-hitter in the semifinal and a three-hitter in the final.”
Clifford also noted that Calo and Taggart are “very deserving” of their places on the Class D teams. He pointed out that Taggart’s batting average this season was in the mid-.400s and Calo batted in the mid-.300s. Calo also had a triple in the state semifinal game, a triple in the state title game and hit two home runs during the regular season.
Taggart had the biggest hit of the Manor season when she ripped a single down the right-field line in the bottom of the seventh inning which allowed Calo to score the winning run in the Lady Wildcats’ 2-1 victory over Bolivar-Richburg in the state championship game on June 12 at Waterloo High School.
Clifford said yesterday that he has already contacted officials at the New York State Sportswriters Association and asked them to have the Coach of the Year plaque changed. Clifford explained to those officials that he and his good friend Charlie Hicks are the Co-Coaches of the Manor softball team. When Hicks was filling out the paperwork for the Coach of the Year award, there was only room for one name on the form so he wrote down Clifford’s name.
“We’re both out there doing the work and leading the team,” Clifford said. “Hopefully, we will get the plaque officially changed to say ‘Co-Coaches of the Year’ and have both of our names on it. But it’s a great honor in general for our school, whether it’s my name or Charlie’s name on the plaque.”

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