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Softball: Northern Burlington tops Moorestown, looks forward to long run

04/14/2018, 8:30am EDT
By Joe Tansey, SJSD

With Cassidy providing leadership, young Greyhounds work on game with eye toward more success down the road

MOORESTOWN-- When Cameron Cassidy first stepped into Northern Burlington’s softball program, she felt a bit intimidated by the wealth of talent.

What shocked the senior centerfielder even more was the group of players were freshmen.

“I transferred so when I came over I didn’t know what to expect Northern to be,” Cassidy said. “I knew they lost so many girls my junior year so when I got on the to team and saw all the potential, I was intimidated because maybe I’m not going to get on varsity because these girls are from here and I’m not.

“I was definitely very intimidated by all the girls and I didn’t know they were freshman. I thought they were sophomores and juniors. I didn’t really think I had a chance to be on varsity my junior year. I was really shocked because they were all pretty good, especially Haylei. She blew me away the first time I watched her pitch.”

A year after transferring to Northern, Cassidy has grown into the senior leadership role on a team laden with sophomores.

“I just go with the flow,” Cassidy said. “I get in and do what I have to do to get my team pumped up and ready to go. Nothing really special. I just go out and play and have fun and I hope the girls realize that I am the only senior and they can follow me.”

The Greyhounds rebounded from a loss Thursday to Rancocas Valley with a 10-3 win over Moorestown in Burlington County Scholastic League Liberty Division play.

Northern has used a new tactic to start the season in preparation for what’s to come later in the year.

“Coach is doing a lot of small ball because he wants to run the bases and make sure the only thing we don’t know how to do is hit away,” Cassidy said. “He wants to make sure we’re evolved and able to play small ball.

“The biggest difference is we’re changing our offensive philosophy," said Northern coach Brian Wolverton, who is filling in for Tara Corcoran while she’s on maternity leave. 

“Last year because they were young we pretty much just let them hit. We tried to score a lot of runs. This year knowing that we’re going to play deep into the playoffs and see good pitching, you have to be able to manufacture runs. We spent a lot of time early in the season working on that.”

In addition to using more small ball, the Greyhounds have a powerful lineup that produced six doubles, including three in a row during the three-run seventh inning.

“Our eight hitter was our four hitter last year,” Wolverton said. “Top to bottom we’ve got kids that can run the offense. The two kids at the top are as good as anybody with the small game. The rest of our order can swing the bat.”

Megan Berg was the top performer for the Greyhounds, as she produced three RBIs and two doubles while going 3-for-4.

“It was just my pitch,” Berg said. “It was just right there and I think everyone was able to hit it. I think it was our speed and our type of pitcher.”

Although most of their players are in their second year of high school ball, the Greyhounds have plenty of chemistry, which hopefully takes them further in the postseason.

“We’ve all at one point played on the same team so it was easy for us to become a family,” Berg said. “We all stick together in and out of softball.”

 
Zyra Thomas, a six-time state champion, won another gold at the Woodbury Relays Saturday.
J'wan Steward
Lou Russo played football at Cherokee High School and La Salle University
The 2005-2006 team won program's first state title
Donte Jamison (left) with Braheem Whitfield primed to carry the golden baton
Jim Crawford was surrounded by former players and coaches at Coaches vs. Cancer Legends Dinner
Tim Delaney with his mother Jeanine and his girl friend Julie after the Wildcats championship win in San Antonio

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