Before class on Tuesday, April 27, two Fontbonne seniors with A+ averages signed their letters of intent for softball scholarships to Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. As four-year players on Fontbonne’s varsity softball team, shortstop Santina Arena and first baseman Kayla Rolon have become anchors of the Bonnies’ infield.
During the summer, while playing with the Staten Island Saints travel team, the girls were scouted by Chestnut Hill’s softball coach during a tournament in Pennsylvania. One visit to the beautiful campus in north Philadelphia and a scholarship offer to this NCAA Division II school brought the girls to an easy decision.
“I’ve known these girls when they were just babies on my travel team; and now they’re young women going off to college,” said Fontbonne Coach Frank Marinello. “I was very hard on them and now it’s paid off. They have been leaders on and off the field, as well as in the classroom.”
Marinello said Rolon has always been his “quiet kid with the big bat.” So far she has lived up to that billing, as she is already Fontbonne’s home run and RBI leader to start this season. As the team’s sure-handed shortstop with the “electric fingers,” Arena is the varsity’s leader on defense and one of Fontbonne’s best contact hitters.
“I’m looking forward to going to Chestnut Hill,” said Arena. “I’ll be rooming with Kayla and another girl on the softball team. Coincidentally, I’ll be living in the college’s own Fontbonne Hall, which is just a few steps away from my first class in the morning.”