North Pocono standout will continue her academic and athletic career at the NCAA level

It seems that every season there's at least one player on the North Pocono softball team who comes in as freshman, has a positive impact, and then continues to produce throughout her Lady Trojan career.

Some choose to hand up the spikes once senior year is over, and others opt to continue playing at the collegiate level following graduation.

Carissa Giordano is one of those impact players and she will be extending her academic and athletic careers next year at Clarion.

Right Fit

Carissa courted a few colleges before concluding Clarion suited her needs the best.

A prospective nursing student, she sought a solid academic program first and the prospect to play softball came second.

“I’m looking to earn my BSN and get right to work in the field,” Carissa said.

“I might go back to school after a while, but nursing is what I want to do. There are so many opportunities in the field and I like to help people.”

She cited her cousin, who is a physician’s assistant, as an influence on her career choice. However, sports did ultimately play a factor in her college choice.

“One thing I like about Clarion is that they offer their clinicals in the fall and are willing to work with student/athlete schedules,” she said.

“A lot of other programs hold their clinicals in the spring, when it’s softball season. At Clarion I feel I’ll have the opportunity to pursue a career and continue to play.”

Her initial contact with the Clarion coaching staff came at a softball camp.

They answered a lot of her questions and gave her a personal tour of the campus.

She also was able to meet with many of the team members and immediately felt a sense of camaraderie.

“You could just tell they had a good chemistry,” said Carissa. “If there’s no bond, it’s not a good team.”

Well-Rounded

Academically, Carissa does well. She is a member of the National Honor Society and has made the high honor roll every quarter since freshman year.

She is the Student Council executive secretary and has participated in various extracurricular programs such as SADD, Mini-Thon, and the Red Cross Club. She also has volunteered at St. Mary’s Villa nursing home.

When not playing softball for North Pocono, she also takes up the bat for the Impact Panthers U-18 travel team.

There’s a lot to say about the Lady Trojans center fielder’s playing aptitude.

She’ll almost certainly be a fourth-year starter when North Pocono takes to the diamond this spring and will probably carry on as a captain for a second season.

In Carissa’s 59 at bats last season, she had 17 hits and only struck out seven times. Of those 17 hits, seven were good for extra bases.

She drove in six runners last spring and came home 10 times herself.

What’s truly impressive is her knack for infield larceny. On 13 attempts, she successfully stole 13 bases. While she’s opted out of a second varsity sport this year, in the past, Carissa has also spent time on the range competing with North Pocono’s rifle varsity team.

Up Ahead

The Lady Trojans closed last season with a 9-4 Lackawanna League record and seized the Division 1 crown.

They advanced as far as the semifinals in the post season, ultimately getting bounced by Abington Heights in the District 2-11 Class 5A subregional tournament.

Before heading off to collegiate play, Carissa would like one more crack at helping NP take a title.

“We’re bringing back a lot of good players and will be adding a few talented freshmen as well,” Carissa said. “I think we should have a pretty good season.”