(Photo credits: John Meore/The Journal News)
By Debbie Schechter
THIELLS North Rockland freshman Alicia Bertolino (below) showed Friday at North Rockland High School how poised she is at the plate.
“I try to get up with confidence despite what I’ve done before that,” Bertolino said about her poise. “I just know what I can do and I just try to do what I can do.”
Bertolino went 4 for 4 with a double and a triple and drove in two runs against the Titans. Her two RBI came in the bottom of the fifth on the double to left-center field.
With East Ramapo pitcher Raisa Dorsainville pitching at a speed slower than the team was used to, Bertolino kept the approach simple and made adjustments.
“I just saw it and hit it,” Bertolino said. “I watched (Dorsainville) warm up and I figured that I should keep my weight back and I listened to Coach (Jackie) DiNuzzo. She told me to put my front foot in … to slow down my swing a little bit.”
DiNuzzo believes that Bertolino is coming into her own.
“She was a little concerned about her defense making a lot of errors,” DiNuzzo said. “I told her that it would come to her and to worry about your at-bats — get some good swings, good cuts on the ball and everything else will come to you. She’s playing big for a freshman.”
Winning pitcher Tara Sasso and Alyssa Williams combined to allow no hits in five innings. They both struck out eight batters and Sasso allowed three walks.
“We have confidence in each other,” Sasso said. “I knew (Williams) was going to do just as well as I did when she went out there.”
Amanda Schweitzer went 2 for 4 with a double and drove in a run in the first inning to give the Red Raiders a 1-0 lead. Amanda Smith had a three-run triple in the second inning to extend the lead to 4-0. Jackie Salvaggi and Madison Knipl each drove in two runs. Olivia D’Amelio went 2 for 2 off the bench and drove in a run.
The only time the Red Raiders (2-8) ran into a problem in the game was in the top of the second inning. The Titans had the bases loaded and one out but Sasso came back with a strikeout and popout to get out of the jam.
North Rockland believes it can use a win like this and ride the momentum with the Section 1 tournament right around the corner.
“We have to build off of it,” Bertolino said. “We have six games left. If we keep playing like we did in the game, then I think we can finish off the season very strong.”
I know that I’m changing up the game here but attaching post game thoughts but I think this kind of warranted it.
I saw North Rockland earlier in the season and today was probably some of the best softball I’ve seen them play in a while. They played a clean game, something that coach Jackie DiNuzzo said was the first time it happened all season. But what I liked was seeing their offense come alive for 17 hits. I haven’t seen their bats explode like that in a very long time.
Pitching wise, Tara Sasso and Alyssa Williams did well. I don’t know if I agree with the idea of splitting time each game. I get that they want that one-two punch since both Sasso and Williams are completely different pitchers BUT what if you have a game where one is pitching dominantly.. are you going to pull her just so the other gets the time? I admire the strategy but I don’t think it’s realistic.
She had a couple of really great plays in the field.
All the stats that we have show she can hit the ball. Jimenez is a player and someone who’s on the rise in Rockland County Softball.
I also like third baseman Emily Cummings. She too plays really solid defense.