Softball’s Shining Star

Marissa Bariso, one of the greatest offensive players in program history, capped her NJAC career with All-Conference accolades. Photo courtesty NJCU Athletics

Marissa Bariso, one of the greatest offensive players in program history, capped her NJAC career with All-Conference accolades. Photo courtesty NJCU Athletics

By Ike Ejikeme –

The NJCU 2014 softball team had one of its more underachieving seasons in recent memory. With the season now over, the team accumulated a 5-33 record (1-17 in conference play), and ended the season with an 11 game losing streak. Despite their hard work this season, they were not able to earn a bid in the New Jersey Athletic Conference Tournament as they envisioned.

Although things have not been ideal, outfielder/catcher Marissa Bariso, senior, elementary education and psychology major from Hewitt, NJ was one of the true bright spots that has stood out through the team’s adversity this season.

As the team captain, Bariso led the team through all its troubles this season and was selected to the 2014 All-New Jersey Athletic Conference Second-Team. Bariso started all 38 games this season and finished the year batting .402, with 20 RBIs, 16 runs, and 3 home runs. She was also named NJCU Athlete of the Week three times, Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Metro Player of the Week, and NJAC Player of the Week once (April 14th) It’s safe to say that all her hard work has not gone unnoticed.

When it comes to personal achievements, Bariso takes great pride in her accomplishments. “It’s an awesome feeling to be named NJCU player of the week, and an even better accomplishment to be NJAC athlete of the week, especially considering how many players are on each softball team,” said Bariso.

One of the more devastating losses this season was the loss of head coach Bridgette Quimpo, who took a coaching job at Ramapo College in November. Quimpo was at the helm of the softball team for a decade, and truly built a solid relationship with the players.

When asked about her departure, Bariso, along with the rest of the rest of the team collectively felt that it was hard seeing her leave, but it allowed the team to come together as a unit.

“Marissa played outstanding for us this year on both offense and defense,” said first-year head coach Kelli Rehm.

Though the NJCU softball team was hit with several challenges throughout this season and had to adapt quickly to a new coaching style, they feel that more experience will help with their progress.

The key for the softball team looking forward is recruiting players who want to win and who will play with the same passion as the current players. Despite the hardships, the team feels it now has better chemistry.

As for the star herself, Bariso is extremely happy with her time at NJCU, as both a student and athlete. She is scheduled to graduate this May and hopes to find a job in teaching while also trying to coach softball. She also says she wants to find ways to give back to the community.

Bariso ends her career at NJCU as a .313 hitter with 135 hits, 96 RBIs, 90 runs, 38 doubles, five triples, and 21 home runs in 154 games and 151 starts.