NORTH ARLINGTON – Carol Durazio had ambivalent feelings about taking over the North Arlington softball program.
Durazio, who was an assistant coach at Queen of Peace in the early 2000s, played under former North Arlington head softball coach John Galante whose contract was not renewed after last season’s softball season for this year.
“I waited until the last minute to send in my resume,” said Durazio who had plenty of second thoughts about applying for the head coaching job. “There is a loyalty factor. Before I applied I called him (Galante) up and talked to him. He gave me his blessing.”
Durazio was an assistant softball coach at Queen of Peace from 2002-06 under former head coach Sue Murden who was the long-time coach at North Arlington’s neighborhood rival.
In her first year as head coach at North Arlington, Durazio is hoping to improve on an 11-13 record from last season where the team lost in the first round of the Group 1 North 2 state playoffs to Roselle Park.
The new head coach is taking it game by game with the cream rising to the top at the end of the season. “I just want them to do better and better every game,” said Durazio.
And Durazio is helped with several varsity players back this season led by battery mates of senior pitcher Taylor Barth and junior catcher Marisa Piscal who were All NJIC Meadowlands Division first and second team honorees, respectively, last season.
Like last season Barth is the ace pitcher on the staff. “She’s looked great,” said Durazio. “She’s a force to be reckoned with. She can hit her spots with her screw, changeup and drop. She throws hard and paints the corners.”
Piscal is solid behind the plate and makes the combination of Barth and Piscal, one of the best in the NJIC.