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Senior Jaime Gallo is stepping up in a big way for the East Haven softball team this spring. Jaime has hit three home runs for the Yellowjackets, who recently qualified for the Class L State Tournament. (Photo courtesy of Jaime Gallo )
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Jaime Gallo is having a career year with the East Haven softball team. Jaime mostly played for the JV squad prior to this season, but now she’s making an impact at the varsity level as a senior. Jaime recently hit a key two-run double when the Yellowjackets clinched a spot in the Class L State Tournament by defeating North Haven.
“I’m so happy for her,” Head Coach Ed Crisafi says. “Her first three years, she played a lot of JV, but she put in a lot of hard work in the offseason and is getting more confidence. She’s had a great senior year for us.”
Crisafi says that Jaime brings a lot of energy to the Easties. She also brings plenty of power and has connected on three home runs this season. Jaime likes providing a jolt in East Haven’s lineup.
“It’s such a great feeling. When you make that contact and know it’s going over [the fence], it’s such a happy feeling,” says Jaime. “You just know it was such a perfect swing. It puts more confidence in me every single time.”
Jaime’s confidence at the plate was down earlier in her high school career. Jaime wanted to have a big senior year, so she made some changes to her swing while working with coach Brett Bradanini at the Diamond Zone in North Haven during the offseason.
“The last few years, anybody can tell you I haven’t been hitting well. I wasn’t believing in myself. But once I realized I’m a senior and everyone will be looking up to me, I knew I had to be the best I can be,” Jaime says. “I did what I could do over the winter and fall and fixed what I needed to, and now I have confidence and know what I’m capable of.”
While Jaime typically plays designated hitter, she also platoons at first base for East Haven. Jaime moved over to first base when she was in 8th grade, and now she loves playing the position.
“When I was initially put on first, it was a little scary. Mentally, I thought about how I would be so involved and have to catch everything. Once I got over the mental part, I got comfortable there,” says Jaime. “I like how it keeps me in the game. You have to know what inning, how many outs, all of that. I like that I have to know what is going on.”
Jaime recently completed her career as a member of the East Haven girls’ basketball team. This winter, Jaime served as one of the Yellowjackets’ captains.
“I enjoyed it. It wasn’t so much about my ability to play basketball, but it was the idea that I was seen by my coach as a team leader,” Jaime says. “No matter the score, people can come to me and look up to me for advice. Everybody called me the mom friend. I felt like I helped everyone.”
Jaime isn’t a captain on the softball team, although she still takes it upon herself to be a leader for the Easties.
“Being an upperclassman, you don’t have to be a captain for people to look up to you. We’re all one big happy family,” says Jaime. “Even though we see each other as equals, I’m here if they need to look up to me.”
Jaime experienced the thrill of winning a state championship with the girls’ basketball team last year. As the softball squad gets ready for the playoffs, Jaime is looking to contribute to a memorable postseason run on the diamond.
“To be a part of that, it was a lot of hard work,” Jaime says. “I never stepped foot on the floor, but to be on the bench in that atmosphere and seeing how excited we got and how into the game we were, I realized, if you push hard, anything is possible.”
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