Known amongst her teammates as the comedic relief of the team, sophomore Amanda Tantillo doesn’t mess around when it comes to the diamond.

As a freshman, the second basemen had developed a reputation as one of the rising stars of the Cardinals.

She was ranked second on the team for defensive assists with a season total of 41. Tantillo was also a spark for the offensive side of the Cards’ game, tallying 10 RBI’s.

Although Tantillo has let her numbers speak for themselves, some members of her team knew from the first day of practice that she would be an asset to the Cards.

“She was small, so I assumed she was probably going to be an infielder or an outfielder,” senior pitcher Morgan Anderson said. “She kind of just did her position really well, so I started to like her even more.”

While Tantillo knows second base as her normal position, she also plays right field on occasion for the Cards. Her versatility provides a number of options for the team. However, the sophomore does not just act as a physical supplement to PSUC.

Despite being a sophomore, Tantillo has already filled a role as one of the team’s leaders.

“Amanda is a positive role model who leads without asking to lead,” sophomore pitcher Taylor Smith said. “She is always encouraging other players and helping everyone whether they are struggling with plays or just not being themselves. She always steps up.”

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Tantillo’s ability to connect with her teammates is especially crucial on this team due to the fact that the group is so tight knit. When they are not participating in their daily practices, Tantillo and her teammates still enjoy spending time together. Whether it consists of some competitive bowling or just getting food, Tantillo enjoys the company of her teammates who are first and foremost her friends.

The passion she has for the game and shares with her teammates developed at an early age. Tantillo had started out playing tee-ball when she was five years old and as the years progressed, she moved on to baseball. Unfortunately, at this point in her career, she had come to the sad realization that the odds of her becoming a professional baseball player were not necessarily in her favor.

She then turned her focus to softball, where her father would coach her. As Tantillo developed a love for the game in these early years, she was also able to share long-lasting memories of the game with her father.

“There was one game on Father’s Day where I didn’t even get put in until the bottom of the seventh inning.” Tantillo said. “I hit a homerun with two strikes, and I told him that was his Father’s Day gift because I didn’t get him anything.”

In her second season at PSUC, Tantillo has started 2016 in outstanding fashion, currently ranking second on the team with a .320 batting average and also leading the team in RBI’s with 13.

Her recent spark in offense may be attributed to the ritual she does each time before taking the field. Prior to stepping up to the plate, Tantillo rolls up the sleeves of her uniform, rubs the Easton logo that runs across the barrel of her bat, and then touches both corners of the plate before each pitch.

“It just helps me calm myself down,” Tantillo said. “I just hope it keeps working.”

Email Kevin Morley at kevin.morley@cardinalpointsonline.com

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