St. Hubert senior happy to be back behind plate

After being sidelined last year due to injury, Liz Siravo is making the most of her season as a catcher.

Liz Siravo was used as a designated hitter last year because of a shoulder injury. This year, she’s back playing catcher for St. Hubert. SUPPLIED PHOTO

Liz Siravo had it easy last year.

And she couldn’t have been more disappointed about it.

Siravo, a senior at St. Hubert High School, was hoping to see time at catcher last year when she began training camp for the softball season. Right after practices started, she suffered an injury to her throwing shoulder.

That turned out to be the last time she would throw for the year.

“I couldn’t throw at all after it happened, I’m not sure what happened, it just happened over time,” said Siravo, who was strictly a designated hitter for her entire junior season. “After that, I stopped playing catcher. I was just used as a hitter. I was really disappointed because I love playing catcher. But at least I could play.”

After softball season concluded, Siravo underwent surgery, which sent her to the sidelines until February.

That meant she missed all of summer ball and all of the fall season, where she was a goalie on the Bambies field hockey team. The time off was grueling.

So was the physical therapy.

But shortly before softball season began, the Warminster native got the thumbs up to begin working out and now she’s right back where she was before the injury. In fact, she’s even better than before.

“I have no pain anymore, I feel great throwing,” said Siravo, the starting catcher for Hubert. “It felt great to come back. I really missed playing when I was hurt. I like hitting, but playing catcher is even better.”

While Siravo was just hitting, she certainly did her part to help the Bambies enjoy a strong season. They finished with 15 wins, advanced to the Catholic League championship and ended up winning a city championship by besting Central.

The further they went, the more fun it got for Siravo and her teammates, and that makes her hungry for even more good times in her final season.

“We became so close, and we played really well together,” Siravo said. “I learned a lot by playing with them. We had such a good time. The more you win, the closer you get as a team.”

The Bambies also had some motivation during the season a year ago. A lopsided loss to Conwell-Egan was followed by 10 straight wins for the Bambies.

This year, the Bambies suffered a similar loss to Archbishop Wood early in the season, and just like last year, since that loss, they’ve been perfect.

“I think a game like that makes you come together and play together,” Siravo said. “Nobody likes to lose like that. When you do, it makes you want to work harder so you don’t do it again. I can really see a difference since we lost. We all want to play better together.”

That attitude sums up Siravo’s greatest contribution to the team. Sure, coach Dave Schafer likes having her because she’s a good hitter and a great defensive catcher, but it’s even more important to have a backstop who can be the eyes and ears for the team behind the plate.

That’s by design.

“I’ve always been a player who tries to help a lot off the field,” Siravo said. “I try and make everyone laugh because, when you’re having fun, you play better. I also try and be a leader because I’m the catcher. I make sure everyone is where they’re supposed to be.”

Next year, Siravo will be right where she’s supposed to be.

A lifelong Louisiana State University softball fan, she’s heading to LSU with the hopes of becoming an athletic trainer when she graduates. She doesn’t plan to play softball, but she hopes to always be around sports.

“I had a great trainer in Erin Brady who really made me work hard and got me back playing,” said Siravo, who ranks in the top 10 of her senior class and is also in National Honor Society, the Bambies Ambassador program and a Diocesan scholar. “There were a lot of times I was ready to quit, but she wouldn’t let me. She helped me so much.

“Athletic trainers are more like first responders and they really help athletes, mainly. I hope to be able to help someone like (Brady) helped me. A good trainer can really help someone get better fast.”

But before she’s helping athletes off the field, she’s focused on helping on the field.

“I really think we can go far this year because we have great players and we’re coming together as a team,” Siravo said. “The girls on this team are really good and they’re working really hard. I think that can make a big difference.”