Former Classical High three-sport athlete Francesca Galeazzi does a lot of things well, but her greatest strength may be her ability to roll with change.
When she started playing softball at Classical, Galeazzi was an infielder turned outfielder and a righty turned into a lefty slapper. She moved to shortstop as a sophomore and that’s where she stayed until this spring when she found a new home as a second baseman on the Salve Regina softball team.
Galeazzi said it felt very strange at first and she was nervous about the transition, but now she’s loving her new position. Judging from the season she’s having, it’s loving her back. Galeazzi was named the Commonwealth Coast Conference Rookie of the Week for the second consecutive week. She helped her team to a 5-3 record (April 6-12) and she did it with five multiple-hit games. She hit .625 (15-for-24) with two RBI, six runs scored and two stolen bases. She had nine hits in four games against the University of New England, Eastern Connecticut State and Nichols College.
Galeazzi came out of last weekend leading all qualified CCC hitters with a .523 average. She’s currently hitting .479, which is tops on the team.
“At first I was really nervous (about moving from second to shortstop),” Galeazzi said. “But I’ve decided I like it when I just get thrown into things and I don’t have any time to think about it and get nervous. Just throw me into the fire.”
Galeazzi said although expected to be contributing to the team is some capacity right off the bat, she didn’t expect to be starting every game and be in the lineup every day at this point. Galeazzi said she’s very grateful for the opportunity she’s been given considering how many talented players there are on the team.
Although the weather hasn’t been kind to spring college athletes this year, Galeazzi said she loves the college game, with the road trips and the doubleheaders. She also loves the speed of the game.
“The game itself is so much quicker in college,” she said.
Galeazzi said she has developed into a more well-rounded hitter since coming to college. Her bunting and slapping have improved, but now she’s also also hitting for power, making her more of a triple threat.
One person who isn’t surprised by her success at the college level is former Classical High coach Chris Warren. Warren said Galeazzi committed herself to being a lefty. He said he told her she would only get better. He said he reminded her that most players come into college hitting from their natural side and they don’t flip, they’ve been doing it for six or seven years.
“Now she’s doing it all,” Warren said, referring to the fact she can now hit for power as well as slap and bunt.
Galeazzi, who is majoring in elementary education and special education, said so far her college experience has been great.
“My coach (Jessica DePolito, who is also her soccer coach) is so tough, but she’s a great coach,” Galeazzi said. “I’m really looking forward to the next three years here.”
DePolito, in a story on the Salve Regina website about Galeazzi being named Rookie of the Week for the second time, said Galeazzi has been solid defensively for the Seahawks and is one of the team’s most consistent base runners. She said Galeazzi’s maturity and natural athleticism have helped the program remain competitive.
The Seahawks are 13-13 overall and 8-2 in the CCC.