Stafford Leader

With New Head Coach, Southern Softball Aims for Consistency

Spring Sports Preview
By DAVID BIGGY | Apr 13, 2018
Photo by: David Biggy New Southern softball head coach Jamie Bernaldo expects her Rams to constantly do the little things that win games and battle each opponent until the final pitch.

When Jamie Bernaldo arrived to the softball field as Southern’s new head coach back in February, the Rams’ program changed.

“I want this entire program to develop,” she said. “I don’t want it to be where we have one good year and the next year we stink. From varsity down into middle school, I want to see this program become consistent winners. And more than anything, I want girls with high character playing in this program. If you don’t have good character, we don’t want you, because it’s all about team here.

“I don’t want anybody to think we can’t make it without them, because that stuff annoys me. I want every girl who comes into this program to buy in to this philosophy.”

And while this year’s Rams have lots of quality young ladies, they are a young squad. Still, the no-nonsense Bernaldo – an individual who played at Pinelands before becoming a coach both at Pinelands and on the local travel ball circuit – doesn’t take young as an excuse to not win games.

“I expect this team to win,” she said. “We’ll take our lumps. But even being young, we’re building for consistency. And we have to develop more of a consistent mentality, a winning atmosphere, and these girls have to start believing they can win.”

No doubt, Bernaldo will be relying on a lot of young, inexperienced players to rise to new levels this spring. And while some have established starting roles, Bernaldo’s not opposed to using anybody from her 19-player roster if she thinks a player isn’t giving 100 percent, or she needs to spark a change in the lineup.

“Everybody’s important on this team,” Bernaldo said. “We need every player on this team – from one to 19 and everybody in between – to get on board. That’s the only way we’re going to be successful.”

With junior Tatiyana Ford slated as the No. 1 starter in the pitching circle, and classmate Taylor Bass behind the plate, the Rams have a solid battery. The infield crew is made up of Emily Thompson (SS/C), Christina D’Amodio (2B/SS), Kendall Adams (3B) and Keeley Himmelreich (1B), while Jackie Herrera, Maggie Brummer and Chrissy Rinaldi are expected to see a lot of time in the outfield. Laci Yacono will be one of the team’s pitchers as well.

The rest of the team includes Ella DiPietro, Erica Scheinberg, Rachel Pharo, Victoria Cona, Megan Curry, Sarah Pampalone, Sarah Fisher, Mackenzie Torre and Colleen Camburn.

“We have a lot of good players, and from game to game, different players will lead the way,” Bernaldo said. “We’re a true team. We don’t have any superstars, so we’re going to have to be a team.”

The Rams opened the season on March 31 with an 8-7, 9-inning victory over Henry Hudson, then were bounced by Toms River East, 6-1, on April 5. Southern scored an 11-6 win over Central Regional on April 6, then lost a 16-9 slugfest against Toms River North on April 9.

— David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

 

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.