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Wildcats to Honor 30-Year Head Coach Maria DiBernardi, Sunday
Head coach Maria DiBernardi (right) discussing the situation with Stephanie Butler (left).
 
Head coach Maria DiBernardi (right) discussing the situation with Stephanie Butler (left).
 

May 2, 2014


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VILLANOVA, Pa. - Not only does Sunday's rubber match (12 p.m.) against St. John's mark the conclusion of the 2014 regular-season, but the final game of head coach Maria DiBernardi's 30th season as the person in charge of leading the Villanova Softball team. The Wildcats are inviting all alumni and fans in the area to help recognize coach DiBernardi before first pitch is slated at noon.

The Last Meeting
St. John's4
Villanova5
May 5, 2013
Villanova, Pa.
Poppe Sets Single-Season Innings Record in 5-4 Win Over St. John's
The Villanova softball team (21-31, 3-19 BIG EAST) finished off the 2013 season with a thrilling 5-4 victory over the visiting St. John's Red Storm (17-35-1, 7-15 BIG EAST) on Sunday afternoon. Senior right fielder Julie Smith (Dana Point, Calif.) hit a walk-off single to right field with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Villanova their 21st victory of the season. In the win, freshman pitcher Kate Poppe (Downingtown, Pa.) broke the single season record for innings pitched with 237 2/3 innings pitched.

Next year, DiBernardi will make it 31 seasons on the Main Line but before that the Wildcats would like to honor coach for her time, commitment and achievements reached at the helm of the Villanova Softball program.

The former Immaculata standout entered legendary status earlier in the year as she collected her 750th career victory when the Wildcats downed Boston University, 5-3 in Clearwater, Fla. on March 8. Throughout her 30 seasons, she has compiled an impressive 762-663-10 record and has become the winningest coach in school history.

DiBernardi has guided the Wildcats to 12 BIG EAST postseason berths since they began in 1990, twice advancing to the title game (1993, 2003) and emerging as runner-up in the conference. She led Villanova to three 40-plus win seasons in 1999, 2001 and 2002.

She has been a pioneer for the BIG EAST, serving as the president of the Conference Softball Committee for four years (1997-2000). Doing what she loves most, DiBernardi is active in numerous camps and instructional clinics throughout the greater Philadelphia area, including Villanova Fastpitch Softball Camps held at the school throughout the year. The legendary coach led the Keystone State squad in the over-18 fast pitch division, winning two gold medals and two silver medals.

 

 

The former pitcher was not only named to Norristown's All-Time Team for the 20th Century in 2002 but was honored as the Co-Player of the 20th Century. She was a 3rd Team All-American at the 1990 ASA National Tournament.

Throughout her coaching career, DiBernardi takes pride with success both on the playing field and in the classroom. Believing in this philosophy, she has produced 64 BIG EAST All-Conference Players and 189 BIG EAST Academic All-Stars. The 2008 squad was honored as an NFCA All-Academic Team for having registered a combined 3.238 GPA.

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