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Where are they NOW?

Byline: Jennifer Toland

The University of North Carolina-Wilmington's pitch to prospects is that "students get a great education in a great location." Amanda Aditays can vouch for that.

"It's a beautiful setting, five minutes from the beach, and everyone here is so helpful and friendly," the former Shrewsbury High softball ace said.

Aditays is finishing up her sophomore year at UNC-Wilmington, located in the southeastern part of the state, close to the Atlantic Ocean and Wilmington's historic district.

As of May 1, Aditays had won five games for the Seahawks, who were battling for a Colonial Athletic Association playoff berth.

Aditays left a mark on the Shrewsbury High program. As a junior, Aditays helped lead the Colonials to the Division 1 state championship. She pitched a three-hitter against Dighton-Rehoboth in the final. She had a great senior season as well, though the Colonials came up short of repeating.

Aditays knew she wanted to attend college in the South and, at the suggestion of her pitching coach Denise Davis, checked out UNCW. She was an immediate contributor her freshman season, leading the team in innings, strikeouts and batters faced. She pitched her first career shutout against North Carolina Central.

The Seahawks won only three conference games in 2008, but have more than doubled that total this season under new coach Kelly Van Houten. Of the 19 players on UNCW's roster, 16 are freshmen or sophomores, so the program's future, with Aditays a big part of it, looks bright.

"We are a young team," Aditays said, "but everyone has played really well together. We're still getting to know each other, but it's been great."

Aditays said the hardest part of the transition from high school to college was learning how to do her own laundry - whites? darks? gentle cycle? permanent press? Seriously, though, she said her first two seasons pitching at the Division 1 college level have been a learning experience.

This season started kind of rough for Aditays - she was 1-8 at one point - but she bounced back to win four straight starts in April, including back-to-back gems against Hofstra and George Mason in which she didn't allow an earned run.

"I have the confidence," she said, "I just didn't know what to expect. It's a brand new situation, and it's exciting. You hear about what it's like from people, but you don't really know what it's like until you play in it."

Aditays said she has learned how to recover when things aren't going well during a game - something she didn't have to deal with much in high school, when she dominated most opposing batters - and she's getting used to playing with all new teammates. She and her Shrewsbury High teammates, many of whom also have gone on to play in college, had been together for 10 years in some cases.

Aditays' parents, David and Deborah, have made it down for a few games. Her sister, Jessica, who was also a star pitcher at Shrewsbury High and went on to have a fine career at the University of Maryland, continues to work as a dolphin and sea lion trainer in the Bahamas.

Aditays will come home for the summer and work with Davis at Planet Fastpitch in Uxbridge. She also plans to work and take a class at Worcester State College. Aditays is applying to UNCW's nursing school next year.

Kaitlin Andrews

Hudson High

The Stonehill freshman and former Hawks ace pitched complete-game shutouts against Bentley and Franklin Pierce this spring.

Jeff Bercume

Leicester/St. John's High

The Merrimack senior center fielder leads the Northeast-10 Conference in batting. He became the second player in school history with 200 career hits.

Liz Corrao

Holden/Notre Dame Academy

A first-team America East All-Star as a sophomore, the Boston University junior is having another successful season with the tennis team.

Matt Cotreau

Lunenburg High

The junior is captain of the St. Joseph's (Maine) golf team.

Alex Daley

Hudson High

Eric Tankanow

Worcester/Bancroft School

Teammates on the Bryant golf team, Daley and Tankanow each finished in the top 25 at the New England Championships.

Kay Foley

Worcester/St. Mary's High

The Harvard junior was named co-captain of next year's swimming and diving team. She helped the Crimson to the Ivy League championship last season.

Eliza Ives

Harvard/The Bromfield School

The Harvard University sophomore won the 1,500 at the Brown Invitational.

Keith Landers

Worcester/St. Peter-Marian

A freshman at Louisville, the lefty has appeared in three games this season.

Nick DeProspo

Worcester/St. John's High

Southern Connecticut's starting sophomore catcher is among team leaders in total bases.

Stacey Stanovich

Northbridge High

The sophomore pitcher has made 13 appearances this spring for the URI softball team.

Laura Stern

Shirley/Lunenburg High

A high school record-setter in the javelin, the UNH freshman has won the event at numerous meets this spring.

Jordan Storro

Leominster High

The freshman is among the leaders in stolen bases for the nationally ranked UMass softball team.

John Andreoli

St. John's High/Shrewsbury

The UConn freshman hit his first career home run in the Huskies' 17-5 win over Bryant.

ART: PHOTOS

CUTLINE: (1) Amanda Aditays: The former Shrewsbury High softball star is finishing up her sophomore year at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. (2) Amanda Aditays

PHOTOG: (1) COURTESY PHOTO (2) STEVE LANAVA FILE PHOTO
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:May 13, 2009
Words:885
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