On the JV softball team, players are given the opportunity to develop their skill level in a structured learning environment that constantly challenges them whilst providing both encouragement and support. Each player develops her core skills, providing a solid base as she progresses in the sport. The team benefits when exposed to challenging drills that require effective decision-making and precise execution under pressure. The repetition of these varied drills during practice helps develop competency and confidence in the athlete.
Walker’s softball program competes in the Founders League and in the Western New England Prep School Girls Softball Association (WNEPSGSA). Despite Walker’s size (designated a “Class B” school), the team competes against many of the “Class A” schools on an annual basis, including Westminster, Choate, and Taft. Their schedule also includes “Class B” opponents like Kingswood Oxford, Wilbraham-Monson, and Miss Hall’s.
Dr. Melissa Bernardo is in her third season coaching JV softball and also coaches JV volleyball in the fall. Coach Bernardo is a dorm parent, an Upper School advisor, and advisor to the Environmental Club on campus. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology from Wesleyan University.
Daniele Ness began working at The Ethel Walker School in 2018. The 2021 season is her third season coaching softball at Walker’s. Coach Ness helped lead the 2019 JV Softball team to an undefeated season! Coach Ness has an extensive background as a softball player, specializing as third baseman and catcher. She played competitive softball for over 15 years including high school and college intramural, and continued in a women’s adult league. Coach Ness earned her B.S. in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and worked as an engineer prior to becoming a math teacher. Outside of coaching JV Softball, Coach Ness is also the head JV volleyball coach, teaches math, and is a Middle School advisor.