Hallie Donofrio, all 5 feet and 100 pounds of her, plays one of the most demanding positions in sports. What the Waldwick catcher might lack in size, however, she makes up for with a strong arm, good mechanics and a whole lot of heart.Would-be base stealers found that out last week. Donofrio threw out a runner in Friday’s 17-2 win over Palisades Park, then threw out four more in Saturday’s 11-2 win over Dwight Morrow.
The Record Female Athlete of the Week wouldn’t be surprised if other teams size her up and figure they can just steal bases at will.
“The typical catcher is a bigger girl, not so fast,” Donofrio said. “I’m 5 foot, 100 pounds, but I think it works to my advantage because I’m quick and I can throw quickly and block pitches quickly and get back up. I think that really works for me.
“People ask me what position I play, and when I tell them catcher, they’re like, ‘Oh my, how do you do that?’Ÿ”
Extremely well, especially when you factor in her offense. Donofrio had three hits, including a triple, three RBI and two runs scored against Palisades Park. Against Dwight Morrow, she had two hits, three RBI and two runs scored.
She started the week with three hits and an RBI in the Warriors’ 4-3 eight-inning victory over Cresskill on April 6. Two days later, she had a hit, a run, a walk and an RBI as Waldwick beat Bogota, 6-0.
The Warrior behind the mask has learned to brave the cold and tolerate the heat since becoming a starter as a freshman. The drizzly days, however, are a problem.
“I think the worst part is when the mud behind the plate is bad because your legs have to work so much harder to stay up [and stay balanced],” she said. “Sometimes you’re sinking in the mud and you have to readjust in the middle of a pitch.”