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Meet 2025 Elite Top 100 Prospect Ava Calciano, 5-Tool UConn Commit Lockdown Shortstop

Updated: Jun 3

Story by Elizabeth Perez, Legacy & Legends Softball

Name: Ava Calciano

Nickname: AC

Hometown: Lewes, Delaware

Grad Year: 2025

GPA: 4.1

Travel Team: Newtown Rock Gold-Garvey

High School: Cape Henlopen, Delaware

Positions: Shortstop

Height: 5’ 5"

Bat/Throw: Left/Right

Overhand Velocity: 63

Exit Velocity off Tee: 73

Home to First or 20 yds: 2.7

Intended Study Major: Undecided

Twitter: @AvaCalciano6

Instagram: ava.calciano

Who are you?

I’m Ava Calciano. I’m a competitive and firey player. I’m passionate about softball, but I also value God, my family, friends, teammates and coaches. I pride myself in honesty and hard work, and I love to smile!

How did your softball journey begin?

When I was young I watched Major League Baseball (MLB) players like David Ortiz, Mookie Betts, and Dustin Pedroia. I wanted to be just like them, so I made my dad pitch to me in the backyard as I tried to launch balls over our house.

What are your greatest strengths as a softball player?

I have a disciplined approach at the plate, and have gap-to-gap power but I’m also speedy and aggressive on the base paths. I have quick feet and hands, with good range in the infield.

What kind of hitter are you and what are your most recent offensive stats?

I have a patient, gap-to-gap approach with quick bat speed. Mentally, I’m the kind of hitter who wants to be in high pressure at-bats in the game, I’m not afraid to come up to the plate when my team needs me.

Here are my offensive stats from high school regular season- 17 games played

AVG- .472

OBP- .588

OPS- 1.550

SLG- .962

SB- 17

Runs- 24

What is your favorite sports memory and greatest achievement?

My favorite memory is when I was rounding third after I hit a homerun to put my Cape Henlopen High School team up against a team we hadn’t beaten in many years. As I was coming home, seeing my whole team at the plate cheering and smiling is a memory that I will never forget. Those are the moments that truly give you the best feeling.

How do you handle adversity and even failure?

In times of adversity and even failure, I remind myself that the world keeps spinning. When I feel like I’m going through a rough patch, I like to talk about it with teammates or coaches. Sometimes sharing what’s going on, and getting opinions or advice from people who care about you really makes a difference. Mistakes don’t define you, it’s how you pick yourself up and respond that does.

How would your teammates and friends describe you?

My teammates and friends know that I always have their backs. Any time they need reassurance or someone to talk to, I’m always in their corner, offering a smile. But, I also offer them a challenge as I push everyone around me to be better.

Who is your role-model and or idol and why?

My idol is Coach Donna J. Papa, the former head coach at the University of North Carolina (UNC). I’ve met her a few times and have been coached by her at camps, and I admire the knowledge and kindness she possesses. I only hope to be as distinguished of a coach that she is in the future.

If you could spend a day with any softball player, former or current, who would it be and why?

If I could spend a day with any softball player, I would spend it with Sis Bates so we could work on infield and I could learn from her.

What is your softball dream/goal?

Ever since I was twelve, it’s been my dream to play in the Olympics for softball. I was selected to the USA JWNT player pool through the USA Softball HPP program last year, but was unfortunately unable to attend the event this year. Hopefully I’m moving in the right direction to get to the highest level. Beside that, I want to coach Division 1 softball.

When deciding on playing for the University of Connecticut, what was the most important things you were looking for? Is it location, academics, conference, championship winning history, school reputation, coaching staff, team chemistry, weather, school colors etc?

UConn checked every single box for me. I wanted to be relatively close to my family, go to a competitive winning program, a place with strong academics, and be surrounded by good people. Deciding on UConn was the easiest decision I’ve made, and I’m super excited for this opportunity at the next level.

What is your favorite jersey number and why did you choose it?

For as long as I can remember I’ve been number 6. My dad was number 16 from when he played little league through when he played in the minors and coached. Number 6 is so similar to 16, that the number is a tribute to my dad but I also have my own individualism with it.

What other hobbies do you have to balance out softball and your personal life?

I play volleyball for my school team, I love to shop, hang out with friends and family, and go to the beach with my dachshund named Milo.

Who would you like to thank for your softball achievements and support?

I would like to thank my parents for their love and support, Coach Dan and Coach Joe from Rock for the player they have helped make me and the trust they’ve had in me since day one, and Coach V, Coach Nikki, and Coach Mac at UConn for the amazing opportunity they are providing me with.

Additional Info About Ava

Walk up Song: Halle Berry-Hurricane Chris

Favorite Food: Chicken

Favorite Song: Better Together-Jack Johnson

Favorite Music Artist: Jack Johnson

Favorite Sports Team: Boston Red Sox

Favorite Sports Celebrity: Jarren Duran

Favorite Movie: 10 Thing I Hate About You

Favorite Sports Movie: Field of Dreams

Favorite TV Show: Suits

Favorite Book: Soul Surfer-Bethany Hamilton

Favorite Travel Spot: Florida

Favorite Quote: “Be humble. Be hungry. And always be the hardest worker in the room.” -Dwayne Johnson

Story by Elizabeth Perez, Legacy & Legends Softball, June 3rd, 2024

Please Follow us on FaceBook and Twitter: @LegacyLegendsS1

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