DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. Jenna Ausiello will live out her dream since freshman year in high school playing professional softball.
The senior and Mercy College softball standout will go to Germany to play for the Hamburg Knights. Ausiello will graduate May 23 and depart May 29. Her first game with the new team is June 3.
"It's extremely exciting," Ausiello said. "I am sad that my college career has ended but excited to know that my future is ahead of me."
Ausiello, who will graduate with a degree in health sciences, said there are northern and southern divisions, and Hamburg is in the northern division. The team will play every weekend through Sept. 1 and then the playoffs begin. Everyone gets a two-week vacation in July.
She began looking into Europe last November. "When I googled, 'Playing Softball in Europe,' I found the website Eurosftbl.com ," said Ausiello, who hit .424 this season with a program-record 67 hits, including 22 doubles and 35 RBIs. "I put my stats into the website and earlier this year I received a call."
She said she was surprised but happy because she had been told it was late to pick up players. But apparently it was not too late for Ausiello.
Hamburg coach Uri Lauven contacted her and said his team was in need of a shortstop, hitter and pitcher. Lauven got all three in Ausiello. They began emailing and later the two, as well as many of Ausiello's teammates, became friends on Facebook.
Even though Ausiello is the only American on the Knights, she won't have any language difficulties: her new teammates and coaches all speak English.
"A couple of them have already said they want to come over and visit me," Ausiello said.
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