Bloomfield coach Bob Mayer feels his team is starting to come around, after a slow start.
Then again, Mayer also noted that the ‘slow start’ came against the likes of Mount St. Dominic, Nutley (twice), Livingston (twice) and West Essex.
Mayer saw his team hit the ball well on April 21, as the Bengals spotted Wayne Valley three early runs, then stormed back to prevail, 9-3, behind a tremendous pitching performance by senior Samantha Corio, and the hot bats of Christina Collins and Rachelle Ramirez.
“We can’t make excuses about our schedule, because I think it will make us better as the season goes on,” said Mayer, noting his team plays in the rugged Super Essex Conference, American Division. “We’re starting to play better, but we still need to work on base running and overall defense. But this was a good win today.”
Mayer made a quick pitching change with two outs in the second inning, moving Corio from her regular centerfield position to pitcher. Corio, who has a tremendous throwing arm, enjoys pitching, as well.
“Coach did say I would probably pitch, but I figured it would be later in the game,” said Corio. “But when I got called in, I knew I had to throw well.”
When Corio entered, the Bengals were down 3-0 and Wayne Valley had runners on base. Corio retired the last batter in the second, and went on to pitch 5 1/3 innings of outstanding ball, striking out four and walking one while scattering three hits.
“Sam came up big for us,” said Mayer. “If we fall behind 5 or 6-0 at that point, it’s a long haul back.”
Corio also worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning. The senior will be attending Kean University this fall, and hopes to continue playing on the collegiate level.
Bloomfield’s starting pitcher, Courtney Politz, had taken a line drive off her hip in Bloomfield’s last game, on April 19, at Livingston, on the final pitch of that game. Politz left with a large ice pack on her side, but appeared ready today.
“She struggled a little bit with her control,” said Mayer. “Courtney took quite a pop on that hip, but she’ll be okay. She’s a big part of our team.”
Ramirez and Collins’ contributions also encouraged Mayer.
“They bat 8 and 9 in our lineup, so it was good to get that kind of production from them,” said Mayer.
Shortstop Jalia Santos also made a big play, on defense, by snaring a line drive that seemed to be headed into the gap. And Bloomfield catcher Kasey Coury continues to play well defensively, and has a good arm behind the plate.
Bloomfield will play a pair of games at a tournament, in Clifton, on Saturday, then has conference games coming up with Montclair and Cedar Grove next week.
“They’re all big games for us,” the coach said. “We don’t take anything for granted. But if we can get this kind of effort, we’ll be okay.”