Sunday, September 17th 2006, 7:06AM

THE MYSTERY MODEL riding with Yankee pitcher Carl Pavano when they slammed into a truck last month stuck up for her man yesterday, saying he did nothing wrong after the rainy crash - and can't wait for him to pitch again.

"It was a bad accident and it's unfortunate that Carl can't play ball right now, because he really wants to," stunner Gia Allemand, 22, told the Daily News outside her family's Long Island home yesterday.

"He's really passionate about baseball," the former teen beauty queen said, wearing a tight black T-shirt tucked into her jeans and oversize black sunglasses. "There are more important things we should be worrying about than this."

The hottie and the hurler were riding back from breakfast in Pavano's Porsche through a driving rainstorm when they hydroplaned across a Florida street Aug. 15 and crashed so hard into a truck that the driver first thought the two of them must have been killed.

Pavano, 30, was on a rehab assignment in Florida at the time after more than a year of injuries. He broke two ribs in the crash, but hid it from his Yankee bosses for 11 days - even pitching a game that afternoon, Allemand said.

"This is being blown out of proportion. Accidents happen every day," she said. "People are putting so much pressure on him and they're not seeing the real Carl. They're not seeing his passion for baseball, and how he was playing with injuries. They're only seeing that he didn't tell them right away."

Bombers brass were upset to learn their $39.9 million investment got hurt all over again - and no one knew Allemand was in the car until The News revealed it on Friday.

She denied the truck driver's claims that a friend of Pavano's whisked her from the scene, saying she sat in the friend's car to keep out of the rain, and only left after police were finished with Pavano.

"He was being a gentleman, and he didn't want me to stand in the rain," she said. "He didn't want me to get a cold. I was in a tank top."

The two have been dating for "a few months," she said, but she wouldn't describe how they met. She said she recently graduated from Hartford College, and hopes to become a first-grade teacher.

"We're very close. We go to each other for everything," Allemand said. "But we're not getting married or anything like that."

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