Softball Senior Spotlight: Class A South
The Shore Conference Softball Coaches Association and the Shore Sports Network will recognize senior softball players who have yet to take the field in 2020 because of the lockdown forced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each coach who chose to participate listed their respective seniors with comments on each. These senior recognitions will be released by division.
Class B North - coming 4/22
Class B Central - coming 4/24
Class B South - coming 4/27
Introduction by Ryan Pringle – Ocean Township Head Coach
We are in the midst of the nicest spring that I can remember. And trust me when I tell you, spring coaches are experts on weather history. But rather than watching our athletes learn, grow, and compete on the field, we are all stuck in quarantine, trying to flatten the curve. It is certainly necessary and important, and by staying home we are doing our part in slowing the spread of this virus. But I cannot help but think about what is being taken away from so many of our kids across the country.
Participating in team sports is one of the most magical and special things our students get to experience during their short window of time in high school. The memories and relationships that are built through sports can last a lifetime, and the lessons learned on the field can often translate to future success off the field. While our freshmen, sophomores, and juniors will have an opportunity to compete again next season, our seniors are in danger of never competing in their school colors again, and to me, that is a heartbreaking thought.
There are a lot of great things that come with being a high school coach, but one of my favorites is watching seniors lay it all on the line during their final season. I have been very lucky to coach some incredible kids during my tenure, and this year, I was looking forward to watching a few more seniors lace them up one last time. With these senior athletes in mind, I reached out to our Shore Conference Softball Coaches’ Association, and below is a list of some of our seniors that we are thinking about during this suspension of play. Here is what our coaches have to say about their seniors:
CLASS A SOUTH
Brick Memorial: Head coach Christina Rodriguez – 7th Season
- Nicole Acocella, OF - We are looking forward to returning quick outfielder Nicole Acocella to cover a lot of ground in the field and take on a leadership role on the team. She will be attending Stockton University
- Natalie Barneman, OF - Barneman returns after having a hot year with her bat and making some superb catches in the outfield in 2019. This year she enters the season with a year more experience. She should have a solid season. She will be attending Ocean County College and the School of Nursing.
- Kiara Richards, P/IF - Kiara offers the same threats consistently - she earns your respect at the plate and plays reliable defense. The best part is she can take on pitching duties and we can stay confident in winning games. She will continue her career at North Carolina A&T.
- Jenna Pfister, P/IF - Jenna has been at the center of Mustang softball success for the last couple of years. We expect her to be poised and ready for the moment. She will head to Sacred Heart University in the fall.
- Jackie Soden, C/UTL - Jackie is having shoulder surgery this season and will not be able to participate, unfortunately. We hope it all goes well and she recovers quickly! She will be attending Ocean County College.
- Ashley Maribo - Committed to Delaware State for soccer, Ashley Maribo adds athleticism and speed to our lineup.
Brick Township: Head coach Tim Puglisi – 9th Season
- Gianna Linfante, C - Gianna is a four-year varsity player who is a full-time starter for the last three seasons. Gianna has become a great leader on and off the field, not only because of her play behind the plate or the great numbers she puts up offensively, but also as a member of the National Honor Society. Gianna is always taking swings after a practice or a game to get better. She is an integral part of our team and leads by example.
- Gabby Gonzalez, 3B/SS - Gabby is a three-year varsity starter who leads our infielders. She has a great work ethic and is always working to get better. Gabby is a force in our lineup and we look forward to her production this season.
- Adayla Mende, 2B - Adayla has great character and can always find a way to make you laugh even when you are going through difficult parts of games. Adayla has battled back from a torn ACL her sophomore season and is looking forward to being on the field after all her hard work to battle back from the injury.
- Carly Sullivan, CF - Carly is the fastest player on the team and is a weapon when she is on base. She brings a positive vibe to the team and is always uplifting.
- Hannah Patterson, P/RF - Hannah is a hard worker who always puts out her best effort. She is very coachable and is a quick learner.
Southern Regional: Head coach Jamie Bernaldo – 3rd Season
- Victoria Cona, C - Has been a varsity player since her freshman year. She will be attending Stockton in the fall.
- Sarah Pampalone, 1B - Sarah is in the top 10 of her class and will be attending Villanova in the fall. She will be studying computer engineering.
- Makenzie Torre, LF - Makenzie has been a varsity player since sophomore year. She will be attending Stockton in the fall for nursing.
- Charlie Purks, RF - Charlie is a member of the National Honor Society. She will be attending Stockton in the Fall.
- Haley Whitney, Manager - Manager Haley has been part of the varsity program since she was a freshman. She volunteers for many clubs and activities within Southern Regional.
Toms River East: Head coach Danielle Foran – 5th Season
- Brooke Slomkowski, C - Accountable, hardworking captain, looking to lead the conference offensively with goals of throwing out at least two runners a game. Committed to Wheeling University!
- Keanna Alfonso, OF - Determined senior looking to make a name for her herself in the outfield. Willing to do whatever it takes to catch a ball whether it’s diving or sliding in to catch it!
- Mollie O’Donnell, OF - Driven and hardworking senior who loves the game so much she’ll make sure to never miss a practice or a game for anything!
Toms River South: Head coach Tom Malek – 13th Season
- Kelsey Endreson, SS - Four-year letter-winner, three-year captain, 82 career hits. A complete player who offensively gives us great speed and is a line-drive hitter with power. Defensively, she possesses great range with a strong and accurate arm. A positive leader who always plays with a smile!!! She will be attending Georgian Court University next year on an athletic scholarship.
- Savannah Gowdy, OF - A three-year letter-winner and a solid outfielder but best known for being a clutch hitter. Savannah is a team player who is willing to do what's best for the team.
- Jayme Palmieri, OF - A three-year letter winner, A very good defensive player. A natural leader. Jayme is the ultimate team player; she puts the team goals ahead of any individual glory!
- Anijihia Mosa, IF - Three-year letter winner, a hard worker. Anijihia is always willing to stay after practice for extra work to improve! Has energy is contagious!
- Jessica Thomas, OF - Jessica is a four-year member of the softball team. She is a positive athlete who is willing to do what is best for the team's success.
I believe I speak for all spring coaches of all spring sports when I say that I hope we get back on the field soon. I love coaching and I love all the things that come with it. The players, the coaches, the umpires and the competitive spirit of the game all combine to create a truly special experience. I miss seeing my players and the opposing coaches and umpires that have become my spring family. Earlier this year, we lost one of the great umpires in our sport, Jimmy Griffin. He was one of the best guys I have met since I started coaching softball and I would be remiss if I did not mention him here. We all miss you, Jimmy. The game will not be the same without you. Rest in peace my friend - Ryan Pringle, Ocean Township head coach.