Collins, Pleasant Colony, Ramirez and Santos key Bloomfield, as Bengals rally past Caldwell, at Ivy Hill; Nutley’s Pomponio joins 100-hit club; Caldwell catcher Guarino continues to impress; Former Chief Lombardi on hand to cheer on her team

Sam Corio’s tremendous 2016 season shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to Bloomfield High softball fans. The senior centerfielder and pitcher has a rocket for an arm, can make, literally, any play in the outfield, and swings a nice bat.

Corio, a team captain, had a big hand in Bloomfield’s second straight win, and fourth in the last five games, as the Bengals (11-13) defeated Caldwell, 6-4, in a nice setting at Ivy Hill Park, on May 19. Pleasant Colony pitched a complete game, and was especially tough in the circle after Caldwell had gained a 3-1 lead in the second inning, blanking the Chiefs until Caldwell scored once in the sixth inning.

Corio was also 2-for-2 at the plate, scored twice and drove in a run. She was also outstanding at the plate, and in the circle, in a 3-1 victory over West Orange, two nights earlier.

The Bengals’ recent surge isn’t just about Corio. A young nucleus features centerfielder Kristina Collins, a sophomore, who had two hits and scored twice in the win over Caldwell. Collins had a tremendous game, as well, in the win over West Orange, collecting three hits and scoring twice.

“Kristina has been playing very well for us,” said Bloomfield coach Bob Mayer. “Our team is coming around, and the young kids are contributing, a lot, to that success.”

Shortstop Jalia Santos has been outstanding in the field and swings a dangerous bat. Santos made one of the better plays, defensively, in the win over West Orange, diving hard and snaring a hard-hit line drive.

Third baseman Rachelle Ramirez continues to impress with a tremendous glove. The Bengals infield defense also features Ayana Andrade Zygmunt at second and first baseman Rachel Jones, who makes a habit of scooping out low throws effectively. Bloomfield’s entire starting infield returns in 2017.

The catcher, junior Kasey Coury, has been outstanding on defense, and provides a good bat in the middle of the lineup.

Bloomfield will start play in the NJSIAA Tournament on May 23, at second-seeded Kearny.

Nutley’s senior catcher, Danielle Pomponio, collected her 100th career hit, according to head coach Luann Zullo.

nutDanielle, here with parents Maryann and Louis, on Senior Day. (Photos courtesy of Luann Zullo. Click on respective photos for larger image).

Pomponio is the second Raider to attain the milestone this year, joining her batterymate, senior pitcher Emily Holden (Genuine Risk). Nutley is enjoying another solid season, with a 20-5 record, thus far. The Raiders are seeded second for the upcoming NJSIAA Tournament.

“We have a great bunch of seniors on this team,” said Zullo. “And Danielle has been a key to our success. We’re all proud of her.”

nut1Nutley coach Luann Zullo has enjoyed the four years with the current group of seniors.

Caldwell is in the midst of yet another winning season. Quietly, but effectively, junior catcher Christina Guarino continues to excel. Guarino’s former batterymate, Cayla Lombardi, was on hand to see her team play at Ivy Hill, against Bloomfield. Lombardi just completed her freshman year, at Seton Hall University, where she’s working hard in the school’s Nursing program.

“Christina is such a great catcher,” said Lombardi. “I loved pitching to her. I always called her ‘Rosey’, so when you said Christina, I wasn’t sure who you meant. It’s great to see her again.”

Guarino was impressive at the plate, with two hits, against Bloomfield.

Lombardi, whose mom is a Doctor, had a great time in her freshman year of college.

??Cayla Lombardi, during her days as a Caldwell Chief.

“A lot of work,” she said with a smile. “But I’m doing pretty good, so far, I’m taking a lab this summer, to help with my schedule for next fall. The year really flew up. It’s fun to see my team play again.”



By mike051893

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