Venturini signs NLI to Hofstra

Venturini signs NLI to Hofstra

Scituate High senior Haley Venturini signed her National Letter of Intent to continue her softball and academic career at Hofstra University during a ceremony at her house last Wednesday, Nov. 11. Venturini, who is one of the elite pitchers in the state, was the R.I. Gatorade Player of the Year in 2019. (Breeze photo by Kayla Panu)
Scituate ace pitcher, 2019 R.I. Gatorade Player of Year looks to continue exceptional softball career in N.Y. with CAA’s Pride

SCITUATE – For someone who’s worn number 11 on her uniform jerseys throughout her superb softball career, Scituate High senior Haley Venturini knew the perfect time to hold her National Letter of Intent signing ceremony to Hofstra University.

Last Wednesday, Nov. 11, at 11:11 a.m., in what used to be her house’s garage, but had been converted into a pitching facility, the talented right-handed pitcher made her collegiate plans official by signing her NLI to the D-I Pride’s program in front of her parents, older sister Nicole, and grandparents, as well as a couple of friends.

Despite not having a high school season last spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Venturini, who pitched this summer and fall for the R.I. Thunder-Gold travel program, had already mapped out her bright future and knew where she was going to spend the next four years of her remarkable athletic and academic career.

“I was already verbal before then,” Venturini said about her commitment, which she made late last year. “I visited Hofstra in June of 2018 and I went back two times after that. After visiting there, I kind of knew that that’s where I wanted to go, so everything else was kind of easy for me.”

Venturini said she had been looking at schools such as Providence College and Binghamton, but things came into focus for her after making her multiple trips to the university in Nassau County, N.Y.

“I fell in love with the campus,” said Venturini, whose father, Kevin, is the president of the town’s girls’ softball program and sister played for the Spartans’ and Rhode Island College softball teams. “The program is terrific and I want to make it better. The coaches are also really nice, and academics really supports you.”

Venturini said that she wants to major in Early Childhood Education and eventually become a teacher. A member of her high school’s National Honor Society, Venturini also hopes to graduate with all A’s.

As for her future collegiate career, she doesn’t know if she will start right away for the Pride, who play in the Colonial Athletic Association, but she wants to get to the point where she can.

In her first two seasons with the Spartans, Venturini has put up some pretty impressive numbers. As a freshman, she won 18 games and was named a First-Team All-State selection as she helped Scituate win the D-III championship, and as a sophomore in D-II, she was again a First-Team All-Stater and captured the state’s top individual honor as the Gatorade Player of the Year.

In 2019, Venturini posted a 14-1 record on the mound, striking out 235 batters while only walking 12 in 90 innings of work. The owner of 569 career strikeouts, she also posted an 0.16 ERA and pitched six no-hitters, including a perfect game.

Not only was Venturini a force in the circle, but she was outstanding offensively as well, as she batted .431 with four home runs and a .708 slugging percentage.

Venturini helped lead the Spartans to the best-of-three Division II title series against South Kingstown that season, but they came up short and suffered back-to-back 4-2 defeats. She didn’t have many official plate appearances in that series, as S.K. continued to intentionally walk her.

Before Venturini graduates from high school next spring, she sorely wants to play one final season with the Spartans, and she does have a clear goal that she wants to accomplish.

“I want to win the state championship game,” she admitted. “We got there my sophomore year. I just want to get the team there and leave them with some good foundation.”