MAMARONECK, N.Y. Joan Spedafino became a teacher and coach because she cared about children and enjoyed working with them.
When Spedafino became the Rye Neck varsity softball coach, she did not have a long-term goal. Instead, Spedafino said she was going to take it year by year.
Now in her 25th season, Spedafino became the second coach in Section 1 history to reach 400 wins, as a result of a 3-0 victory over Tuckahoe on Saturday.
Spedafino joins former Eastchester coach Tom Skip Walsh with 400 wins.
After Rye Neck congratulated Jessica Calvini for throwing a no-hitter, the team raced to embrace Spedafino.
It was so overwhelming, Spedafino said. After the last out, I hugged Robbie (her son) and Frank (her husband), and then the girls ran to me. When I hugged them, I started to cry. Then I saw my parents in the crowd. I did not know they were there.
I was called out of the dugout and the girls presented me with 10 bouquets of flowers and balloons. There were some of my former players there, and my class was there. It was so touching, as was the appreciation shown by the Rye Neck community.
Freshman Nicole Miller, who had one of Rye Necks four hits, enjoyed being part of Spedafinos special day. Her mother, Tricia, played basketball for Spedafino during her Rye Neck school days.
Being able to play for Mrs. Spedafino, like my mom did, is so special, Miller said. It is something few people have the opportunity to do. I am also thankful that Mrs. And Mr. Spedafino have given me the opportunity, as a freshman, to be part of this amazing team.
Calvini, who had Spedafino for a teacher in fourth grade, finished with 13 strikeouts. Lauren Bradley had a run-scoring single and Diana King a sacrifice fly, both in the second inning.
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