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Young Dodgers are "a coach's dream"

MADISON _ The graduation of seven seniors left Katelyn Wiliams, a junior outside hitter, as the lone returnee on Madison's roster. In no time, Williams realized that things likely wouldn't be much different from last spring when the Dodgers went 10-4 and won six of their eight matches in the NJAC-Liberty. The newcomers may lack varsity experience but they possess many characteristics - chemistry, the will to win, poise, persistence - that will benefit them as they progress through the 2021 season. On Thursday, Sept. 9, Madison, with Williams at the core of a new-look squad, took down Kinnelon, 25-21,…

WP blanked by Clayton in final

NEWARK _ Julia Swan was first-rate once more but, this time, it was the team from South Jersey that had just enough to prevail in a battle of top-flight pitchers from North and South Jersey. Sophomore right-hander Meadow Lake threw a one-hitter for Clayton, striking out 10 and walking two, to lead the Clippers past Whippany Park, 3-0, in the Group I state championship softball game on Thursday, June 17 at Ivy Hill Park. Swan, a senior right-hander, proved worthy in striking out eight, walking one and hitting one batter, going the seven-inning distance and scattering 11 hits in the…

Wildcats fend off Emerson, move to title game

HANOVER _ Whippany Park second baseman Mikayla Swan was admittedly uncomfortable as eight Emerson batters took their turns in the batter's box in the top of the seventh inning. Two runs scored on a triple by Kelty Manning and another on a fielder's choice, reducing the Wildcats' lead, once seven, to a tense four. Still, Swan felt her sister, Julia, the pitcher, would somehow escape. Mikaela Schwippert, watching the drama unfold from the dugout, felt the same way and told herself "Julia knows what to do." Turns out the elder Swan did know what to do and she quashed the…

Palmisano one-hitter, HR bolster Marauders

LITTLE FERRY _ The riseball had to wait. So did the screwball which Mount Olive's Becky Palmisano had worked on briefly. Palmisano came down with COVID-19 in late March and the illness brought Palmisano's pitching activities in preparation for the 2020 season to a halt. The timing couldn't have been worse as Palmisano, who saw limited varsity action as a freshman, was set to be the Marauders' ace. "It was frustrating to not be able to work on what I needed to work on right before practices started," said Palmisano, a junior right-hander. "I wanted to make all of my…

Heslin's clutch hit caps MC rally for MCT title

ROXBURY _ Morris Catholic's Kate Heslin said she "knew enough" about Hailey Errichiello, Roxbury's pitcher, but didn't consider it an advantage when she stepped into the batter's box to face her former Jersey Girls 12U teammate. It didn't matter who was standing in the circle. Heslin, a freshman catcher, simply had to make contact with two outs and two runners on in the bottom of the seventh inning with the Crusaders trailing, 1-0, in the Morris County Tournament final. Heslin, hitless in her first three at-bats, sent Errichiello's first pitch foul just outside the right-field line. The second offering, an…

Mendham first at Morris track meet

BOONTON _ Second in the shot put after a rocky start, which included a foul, Mendham's Melissa Aymil retained a positive outlook and went all out in the finals. The foul, Aymil said, shook her up but she knew she had nothing to lose. Aymil, a junior, regrouped prior to the finals and, on her first attempt, heaved the shot the winning distance - 41 feet, 6 inches - to help the Minutemen garner their first Morris County Track and Field championship on Wednesday, May 26 at Boonton High School. "Going into the county championships I knew that not only…