Young Italian softball prospects are making progress at U.S. colleges
29/03/2024 2 Minute Read

Young Italian softball prospects are making progress at U.S. colleges

The Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball (FIBS) and Italian American Baseball Foundation (IABF) College Pipeline in association with Between the Lines has already proven successful for young Team Italy prospects at American colleges

The 2024 college softball season is underway in the United States and several Italian prospects have already risen to the top of their respective programs. In the top National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Southern Conference, we find Team Italy spark plug Laura Vigna at Mercer University in Macon. Georgia. The Piedmontese player had previously  won two National Junior College Athletic Association titles at Florida SouthWestern State College, where Italian student athletes Giulia Bancora and Virginia Mambelli currently compete. 

The versatile Azzurrre juggernaut Giulia Koutsoyanopulos plays for NCAA Division I Southeastern (SEC) champion and national semifinalist Tennessee, while a pair of Team Italy aces–Alexia Lacatena at cross-state rival Kentucky and Christina Toniolo at University of Illinois Chicago–continue to dominate in the pitching circle. Fast-rising Team Italy pitching sensation Maya Milano is turning heads in the NCAA Division II Rocky Mountain Conference at New Mexico Highlands University

Looking beyond the NCAA and returning to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), an important springboard for development and growth for athletes, we also find Giada Acanfora and Beatrice Nannetti at Miami Dade College in Florida. Moving further west, Venetian Marianna Zumerle competes for Eastern Arizona College in the Arizona Community College Athletics Conference. Other Italians in NJCAA Division II are Angelica Agrò at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa and Manuela Cianfriglia at Spoon River College in Illinois. In the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, there is Giulia Cianfriglia at Trinity Christian College in Illinois.

Last year the FIBS and IABF College Pipeline in association with Between the Lines hosted the Softball Junior Showcase for Italian athletes wanting to study and play at U.S. colleges. As a result, Silvia Franzoni (NJAA Division I Region 8's Suncoast Conference Polk State College) and Alysia Terrenzio (NAIA Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference University of Northwestern Ohio) were awarded scholarships to compete at their respective schools. Other prospects include Carlotta Villa and Giorgia Zenari, both of whom are currently enrolled in high school. 

Forza #Italia!

by Nicolò Gatti and Roberto Angotti

(Photo of Laura Vigna in the batter's box courtesy of Mercer University Athletics)

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