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Softball

Mullins, Morristown advance in MCT

MORRISTOWN _ For the last week, Morristown center fielder Tatum Mullins has been in softball bliss. Mullins returned to the softball diamond this spring after undergoing what every athlete dreads - knee surgery - and has been working her way back into form. On Saturday, April 21, Mullins capped an exceptional week with a game-winning double in the bottom of the seventh inning in Morris County Tournament preliminary-round action, lifting the 15th-seeded Colonials over No. 18 Whippany Park, 4-3, at Frelinghuysen Middle School. "There was a lot of pressure being at bat in that situation even though there were no…

Red Hawks are top seed for MCT softball

DOVER _ Parsippany has been unfazed by its Morris County Softball Tournament seedings in recent years. Whether the Red Hawks fell into the teens, the top 10 or were the seventh seed, like they were in 2017 when they claimed their first MCT title since 1986, they have the same intent. The objective is to play smart softball and battle through the bracket. On Tuesday, April 17, Parsippany, undefeated after seven games and eager to defend its championship, was voted the top seed for the 2018 MCT. Although coach Greg Cleary may have been elated, he held his emotions in.…

Three HRs boost Parsippany

PARSIPPANY _ Greg Cleary isn't concerned very much about what Jenna Devens does in the batter's box. Cleary, of course, will take whatever offensive contributions he can get from Devens, Parsippany's freshman right-handed pitcher. Devens fired a three-hitter and struck out 12 when the Red Hawks defeated Mendham, hot off a victory over Chatham, 12-2, on Thursday, April 12. She also had a pair of home runs, one of them in the eight-run fourth inning, amd knocked in five runs. The win enabled Parsippany to remain undefeated after six games. A day later, the Red Hawks topped Butler 10-9 to…

Young MK blanked by Robbinsville

WASHINGTON TWP. (Bergen) _ A young Morris Knolls softball team went up against veteran, battle-tested Robbinsville on Saturday, April 7. Although coming out on the short end, the Golden Eagles are a work in progress and should make strides as the spring season advances on to late April and then tournament time in May. Robbinsville, the defending Group II state champion, earned an 11-0 six-inning decision over Morris Knolls at the Anthony LaRezza Invitational. The loss dropped Morris Knolls to 0-2 after a 6-4 loss to Roxbury on Friday. In other games at the tournament, Montgomery rallied from a 1-0…

Chatham nips Falcons; Hine gets 100th hit

CHATHAM _ Sarah McCabe isn't known for burning up the basepaths. So, when Chatham needed to score to snap a deadlock late in a game against Jefferson, McCabe, a junior first baseman, relied on other extremely valuable attributes to score what proved to be the decisive run in a 3-2 victory over Jefferson on Wednesday, April 4. McCabe used a combination of determination and desire to score from third base on Kaitlin Pinaire's groundball in the bottom half of the sixth inning. "My coach told me I'd be going on any groundball except one to the pitcher," McCabe said. "I…

Morris All-Stars have one last chance to shine

MONTVILLE _ When Montville pitcher Jordan Strickland suffered a severe ankle sprain in the second game of the season, Kristie Monaco was called upon to take over in the circle and didn't object. As it turned out, Strickland never returned and Monaco, an outfielder, kept firing pitches. That's why Mustangs coach John Immediato considered Monaco, a four-year starter, the "backbone of the team." The adaptable and versatile Monaco made her exit from softball on Tuesday, June 13, the date of the Morris County Senior Softball All-Star Game. Monaco, headed to Seton Hall University, will not play in college so the all-star game…

Hornets, Falcons go distance, fall short

MADISON _ Hanover Park and Jefferson put in marathon efforts in bids to extend their seasons but fell short in sectional semifinals. The Hornets' season ended with a 5-2 setback to Hackettstown in 10 innings in the North Jersey Section 2, Group II final on Wednesday, May 31. The Falcons were edged 5-4 by Ramsey in nine innings in the North Jersey Section 1, Group II title game on Tuesday, May 30. "It was nice to go out like that," Hanover Park coach Jamie Galioto said. "It was a nice year. I don't mind losing a 10-inning game. We played hard.…

Golden Eagles achieve desired outcome

FAIR LAWN _ Right fielder Jess Heitmann settled in under the fly ball in right field, caught it then raced to the infield to join her teammates and revel in the sectional title victory Morris Knolls had waited three years for. "This is great. I felt really confident today," Heitmann said of the Golden Eagles' 8-2 win over Fair Lawn that enabled them to hoist the North Jersey Section 1, Group IV trophy after being denied in 2015 and 2016. "Our team had a lot of energy and had momentum for the whole game. I didn't think it'd be so…

Knolls triumphs in 10th inning

DENVILLE _ When Morris Knolls' state game versus Bloomfield entered the 10th inning, Golden Eagles outfielder Melissa Ackerman was actually overjoyed. The score was tied, 3-3, and the international tiebreaker rule would go into effect. And, even when the visiting Bengals went up by a run in the top of the 10th, Ackerman, due to be up fourth in the lower half of the inning, was still OK. As it turned out, Ackerman got her chance in the batter's box and knocked in the game-winning run with two outs, lifting second-seeded Morris Knolls to a 5-4 victory over No. 6 Bloomfield…

Giaimo, Hornets back in sectional final

EAST HANOVER _ Prior to the season, Hanover Park coach Jamie Galioto had a conversation with Nikkiann Giaimo and requested that the senior catcher focus primarily on defense. "I told Nikkiann that whatever we got offensively was fine," Galioto said. "We need her for defense. I didn't want her worrying about anything else." Giaimo adhered to the plan, of course. She wasn't exactly laidback when at the plate. She simply didn't pressure herself. On Wednesday, May 24, Giaimo had a stellar day in the batter's box, rapping out two hits and driving in four runs to pace a 12-hit attack when…