The blend was excellent and the team's run in Section 1 proved to be impressive. Parsippany put up a fierce fight but fell to Clifton 8-6 in the second game of the best-of-three series on Friday, July 27 at the Park Road Field Complex. Clifton scratched out a 2-0 victory in the opener the day before.
"These girls formed a great bond over a short period of time," Parsippany manager Brian Campbell said. "They improved 100 percent and really came together. They jelled very well."
Rivalries were put aside and that helped make the combined team successful. The girls gathered at the home of Megan Carlos, a Par-Troy East player, to kick off the union.
"It was a big party and we got to know each other," said catcher Juliet Campbell, a PTW player. "Everything's been really good."
Nora Rigolosi, also of PTW, liked getting acquainted with the four PTE players - Carlos, Andrea Jacoby, Aahna Ghosh and Sarah DiPippa.
"I enjoyed it a lot," Rigolosi said.
The camaraderie established caused the players to fight hard. It was evident they didn't want their time together to end.
Trailing 8-5 in the bottom of the sixth inning on Friday, Parsippany rallied for a run with two outs. Clifton pitcher Lauren Brown struck out the first two batters before Campbell singled and stole second. Hannah Ververs, the No. 2 batter, then doubled to center field to drive in the run.
Jenna Palatini also got on base. The game ended with a groundout.
"Once I got a hit, I thought everyone would start hitting," Ververs said. "We're not a team that gives up."
Clifton got all it could handle and required a four-run fifth inning to take the lead. Lexi Camp's two-run single to right field put Clifton up, 5-4. Brown's base hit up the middle made it 6-4.
"Parsippany was very competitive," Clifton manager Ron Moran said. "They could have won either game. Our hats are off to them. Parsippany had us at first and we had to come back. We came through with big hits. We got the lead and then focused on defense."
Moran was pleased with the clutch hits that came off the bats of Camp and Brown, especially because they hold down the No. 7 and 8 spots in the order. Neither player had a hit before that inning. Catcher Gianna Casillas had a big night, going 4 for 4 with two RBIs.
Ghosh's two-run double and Jacoby's RBI single gave Parsippany a 3-1 advantage in the first inning. Before smacking the double, Ghosh was on edge.
"I was getting a little nervous when it was a 3-2 count," Ghosh said. "I thought I'd strike out or come through with a hit. I'm glad I did it. I wanted us to keep hitting."
Run-producing hits by Casillas and Alison Moran enabled Clifton to knot the score, 3-3, in the top of the third. In the bottom of the same inning, Parsippany went ahead, 4-3.
Palatini pitched well, striking out 10, but absorbed the setback for Parsippany. Campbell, Ververs and Jacoby had two hits apiece.
DiPippa was excited about being in the Section 1 series and perhaps even more about getting a nickname.
"We all got one," DiPippa said while huddling closely with old and new teammates. "Mine is Dipping Dots."