Her formal first name is Isabella, although just about everyone calls her Izzy, which Izzy Sorgi prefers.
The Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School softball pitcher can be called something else: fearless.
Pitching isn’t for everyone. It requires a mentality willing to deal with pressure and adversity. Sorgi relishes it.
“I love a challenge,” she said.
This season provided no shortage of challenges for Sorgi. The sophomore righthander, in her second varsity season, faced some formidable teams like Center Moriches, Babylon and Southampton. Some might shy away from facing that sort of competition, but not Sorgi.
“I love it,” she said. “I prefer the games where you have to get every play, you have to be in every pitch, you have to stay in the game the entire time. Those are the games that I enjoy.”
That attitude is one of the things sophomore center fielder Olivia Valle likes about Sorgi. Valle said Sorgi’s mental toughness is her greatest strength.
“So many people break down if they throw one ball, but I’ve never seen Isabella even flinch,” said Valle.
Valle, who along with teammate Kate Wilkie call their pitcher Isabella, readily admits she is a big Sorgi fan. “Isabella and I have been best friends since we were in preschool together, so I have nothing but good things to say about her,” Valle said. “She is definitely our most solid player, on and off the field.”
And a big reason why Mercy enjoyed a successful season, reaching the Suffolk County Class B playoffs before losses to Center Moriches and Southampton ended the Monarchs’ season with a 12-10 record. Sorgi has proven to be one of Mercy’s most valuable players.
“She’s taken a few line drives and she doesn’t come out of the game,” coach Jackie Zilnicki said. “She’s tough. She has a lot of heart, you know. That’s what you want in your players.”
Sorgi has been pitching for a handful of years and plays club ball. Her repertoire includes a fastball, changeup and drop. What makes her effective is her ability to locate the ball.
“My whole life I’ve never been the fastest pitcher,” she said, “but I focus on hitting spots, outside corner, inside corner, up, down.”
Sorgi handled most of Mercy’s pitching this year. Eighth-grader Sarah Penny is the team’s No. 2 pitcher.
What is the biggest thing Sorgi has learned about pitching?
“You can’t be fazed by anything,” she said. “You’re going against great teams, great hitters and you just have to understand that sometimes things happen, but you just need to stay in the game, stay with every pitch and you’ll be fine. The majority of pitching is a mental game.”
As Valle sees it, Sorgi is on the rise.
“She can only go up from here,” Valle said. “The more experience she gets, the better she gets.”
Sorgi is making a name for herself, whether it be Izzy or Isabella.
Photo: Bishop McGann-Mercy sophomore Izzy Sorgi enjoys the challenge of pitching against tough competition. (Credit: Garret Meade)