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Bellmore JFK softball getting better every day

Rebecca Pistocchi of Bellmore JFK softball.

Rebecca Pistocchi of Bellmore JFK softball. (Credit: Handout)

Just get a little better every day.

That’s been the motto for the Bellmore JFK softball team.  Add up all those daily increments of improvement, and you’ll find that they are certainly a lot better than they were last season.

The Cougars went from missing the playoffs by one game last season to winning the Conference AA-II championship with a 12-2 record this season.

That title, however, appeared to be in jeopardy during Bellmore JFK’s regular season finale on Monday against Farmingdale. Nursing a one-run lead in the top of the seventh inning, freshman pitcher Sydney Yormack took the ball in relief and was asked to escape a bases loaded, no-out jam to preserve the Cougars spot atop the conference.        

“Sometimes I’m put under a lot of pressure, but otherwise it’s a lot of fun,” Yormack said of her pitching responsibilities this season.  “My teammates back me up in the field. We are a great defensive team. We always do the job when it needs to be done.”

She got the job done on Monday, striking out the side and lifting Bellmore JFK to a 7-6 win.

Yormack, who was called up last season as an eighth grader but pitched sparingly, is one of the key contributing freshman on this year’s team.  She features an array of pitches – including a curve, rise and change – but can also blow it by a batter on occasion. She has also shown pinpoint control, having walked just eight hitters all season.

Yormack has gone 7-2 this season while sharing pitching duties with senior Becky Ellison, a finesse pitcher who has gone 7-1. Senior catcher Rebecca Pistocchi (pictured) has developed a rapport with both, understanding which pitch each likes to throw in certain situations.

Another key component to this season’s success has been the healthy return of third baseman Jamie Demmett, who tore her ACL while playing volleyball last year and missed the entire season. As one of the few starting seniors on the team this year, she has provided veteran leadership for a young team, a power bat in the middle of the lineup and a steady glove at the hot corner.

“It was really rough, I cried like everyday,” Demmett said of her injury.  “But it feels great to be back out there. I love playing with these girls.  We enjoy each others presence and we’re all good players all-around.”

That includes a strong outfield, led by Lauren Sustad.  The junior centerfielder, with blazing speed and a strong arm, is fearless when it comes to tracking down balls in the outfield. Alongside her are freshman right fielder Cora Tavaglione, the team’s only lefty bat in the lineup, and sophomore left fielder Missy Mavrogian, who hit a go-ahead three-run homer against Farmingdale on Monday.  

The strong freshman class also includes second baseman Sam Klein, who has provided a spark atop the lineup for the big bats that follow, like that of junior first baseman Allison Jones.

The first round of the playoffs begin tomorrow when No. 8 Bellmore JFK hosts No. 9 Syosset, a young and talented team that also finished with a 12-2 record in Conference AA-II.  

“I think we can go really far in the playoffs because we have a lot of talent and skill at every position,” Sustad said.  “It would mean a lot.  It would be the first time we’ve made it past the first round of the playoffs. So, we’ll see if we can do it.”

They’ll find out tomorrow. When they’re a little better than they are today. 

Tags: Bellmore JFK , Lauren Sustad , Jamie Demmett , Sydney Yormack , Cora Tavaglione , Missy Mavrogian , Sam Klein , Allison Jones , Rebecca Pistocchi

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