West Babylon’s Olivia Galati is setting her sights high as she begins her senior season with Hofstra University’s softball team.
During the 2012 season, the St. John the Baptist graduate led her team to within one win of the College World Series. This year, Galati wants Hofstra to get that one additional victory needed to play for a chance to win a national championship.
"I think it's a feeling that I can't even grasp the concept of right now because we've never been to the College World Series," Galati told Newsday. "So I can't give a feeling of what it would be like, because I've never been there."
A year ago, Galati and Hofstra shook the collegiate softball world by going 3-0 in the NCAA Softball Tournament’s opening round, defeating perennial powers UCLA and San Diego State. She was the winning pitcher in all three games, throwing 21 innings with 32 strikeouts.
The Pride would ultimately fall a game short of the World Series, losing 2-1 to South Florida in the final game of the NCAA Super Regionals.
"The excitement we had when we got to the Super Regional I think motivated all of the returning players to work just as hard if not even harder than they ever worked," she said. "You are never satisfied until you win the whole thing."
While a College World Series birth is the goal for Galati, replicating her 2012 season may prove to be the bigger challenge. Named the Colonial Athletic Association’s Pitcher of the Year, Galati was 34-7 with an 0.95 earned run average. She recorded 378 strikeouts, with 17 shutouts and 38 complete games.