During his eight seasons as the head softball coach at Manhattan College, Tom Pardalis has built the Jaspers program into one of the more formidable outfits in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
He has guided the Jaspers to six seasons with at least 25 victories, is coming off back-to-back 30-plus win campaigns — the school’s first 30-victory seasons in almost a quarter of a century — and has logged 90 wins over the past three seasons. He also led the Jaspers to a MAAC tournament championship game appearance in 2014.
And though he has yet to claim a conference crown, Pardalis thinks his most recent recruiting class could go a long way toward helping Manhattan reach that goal.
“Our recruiting classes are getting stronger and stronger,” Pardalis said. “We lost some good people, but we’ve also gotten a lot deeper.”
The Jaspers lost three seniors to graduation, including a pair of program stalwarts in catcher Jenn Vazquez and shortstop Stephanie Reinhardt. To fill those holes, Pardalis will look at recruits Daniella Chiorazzi and Gabby Fredette to step in and contribute right away.
Chiorazzi, a product of North Rockland High School in Thiells, is a catcher who also can switch to the outfield when needed. She’ll split her time with sophomore Maddie Colombo behind the plate.
“We’ve had good luck recruiting North Rockland kids,” Pardalis said.
“She’s quite a hitter, so when she’s not catching, we’ll have to find a spot for her. Between outfield and (designated hitter), we’ll find a spot for her out there.”
Fredette, who hails from New Brunswick, New Jersey, will be looked upon to fill the considerable shoes of Reinhardt, who played in every inning of every game in her four-year career, and is Manhattan’s all-time leader in games played (209), starts (209) and innings played (1,383.2).
But Pardalis is high on Fredette’s potential.
“Gabby helped lead Immaculate Conception High School to the state finals this past season,” he said. “She’s a shortstop, and we’re planning on having her step in right away at short. She’s fast, she has great hands and a good arm. She’s just going to give us a different dimension with her speed.”
Pardalis also snatched up another player from North Rockland High when he landed Victoria Alonso, an infielder who can play multiple positions. However, Alonso looks to be headed for third base.
“She’s a great RBI person and a clutch hitter,” Pardalis said. “She plays a great third base and she can also be a good fill-in at shortstop. We’re hoping she sees playing time right away with the intention that there is not going to be any pressure on her that she has to jump right in. But she’s definitely good enough that she can push some people.”
The final piece of Pardalis’ recruiting class comes via Massachusetts in Emma Kindbloom.
“Emma is a very good outfielder with great speed, and she is a very good hitter,” Pardalis said. “I’m hoping she’ll compete for a starting spot next year.”
With the return of stud pitchers Briana Matazinsky, Nicole Williams and Kayla McDermott, the Jaspers will be primed for another run at the MAAC title next season. And with just four seniors on next year’s roster, and with his current influx of new players, Pardalis is confident of Manhattan being a major player in the seasons to come.
“That’s the goal,” Pardalis said. “I think we have a lot of talent on this team.”