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Eppel's HR powers Morris Knolls in emotional MCT final

ROXBURY _ Skye Eppel paced the dugout in the bottom of the seventh inning, pondering what would happen if Morris Knolls got back to the top of the order. Eppel, a junior centerfielder and leadoff batter, took a few peeks at the action on the field and cheered at times as the Golden Eagles tried to recover from a one-run deficit. After Brielle Eike singled and Nicole Florey walked, Eppel, her stomach churning, was assured another at-bat. The pacing finally ceased when she was in the on-deck area. The anxiety soon turned to euphoria when Eppel hammered a first pitch…

Mt. Olive, Knolls advance to final

ROXBURY _ As a freshman pinch runner, Bri Segnello used her speed and daring to score from first base on Annalee Smith's two-out RBI double in the eighth inning and send Mount Olive to a win over Randolph in a 2018 Morris County Tournament semifinal. On May 9, Segnello, now the starting center fielder, was once again a critical part of the game-winning run, belting a double to right-center field to snap a 2-2 deadlock in the bottom of the seventh inning and boost the sixth-seeded Marauders over seventh-seeded Parsippany, 3-2, in an MCT semi. Morris Knolls, the top seed,…

Carfagna's double lifts Mendham

MADISON _ In a back-and-forth struggle, it was a spirited Mendham team that struck the final decisive blow. The Minutemen scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning to earn a 6-4 victory over Hanover Park in a Morris County Softball Tournament quarterfinal game at the Madison High School Recreation Complex on Monday, May 6. Mendham, which has won five straight games, moves on to the MCT semifinals on Wednesday night and will take on top-seeded Morris Knolls (18-3) at the Landing Softball Complex in Roxbury. The early MCT semifinal game has sixth-seeded Mount Olive (12-5) taking on…

Quigley gets in one more home run

MONTVILLE _ Elizabeth Quigley wanted to hit one more ball over the fence, to experience the adrenalin rush and have teammates waiting for her at home plate. Quigley, Morris Tech's catcher, achieved her goal by slugging a sixth-inning home run for the Blue Team at the 11th Annual Morris County Senior All-Star Game held on June 12 at Montville Municipal Fields. In her previous two at-bats, Quigley struck out so the two-run blast to right field, which came off a 2-2 pitch, was ultra meaningful. The homer was Quigley's last - in a Morris Tech uniform or any uniform -…

Hornets garner sectional crown

PARSIPPANY _ It was another joyous moment in the history of the Hanover Park softball program when it defeated Parsippany 12-5 for the North Jersey Section 2, Group II title. The Hornets had a subdued celebration then went to right field to discuss what previously had been prohibited: The fact that their Group II semifinal against Ramsey, slated for 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 31 at Seton Hall University, would start at the same time as the prom. "We haven't mentioned it once because it would have been a distraction," Hanover Park coach Jamie Galioto said. "We knew when the…

Homer sends Mt. Olive into final

MOUNT OLIVE _ Annalee Smith was seeking redemption for herself and Mount Olive. Last year's result against Ridgewood was still weighing heavily on the mind of Smith, the Marauders' catcher, when she stepped to the plate to open the bottom of the sixth inning with the score tied, 3-3, in a North Jersey Section 1, Group IV semifinal. All she wanted was to get on base. Smith looked over the first pitch, a ball, before homering over the fence in right field. The home run, Smith's first in 48 games, more than fulfilled her wish, sending the third-seeded Marauders to…

Torch went short in quest for 100 hits

MOUNTAIN LAKES _ The Mountain Lakes softball team was winless when Jessica Torch was a freshman in the spring of 2015. The Lakers posted two victories a year later and four during Torch's junior year. Through it all of Mountain Lakes' struggles, Torch kept hitting. On April 26 versus Villa Walsh, Torch, the senior shortstop who resides atop the Lakers' order, rapped out two hits, including the 100th of her career - a drag bunt - and scored the decisive run when Mountain Lakes recorded a 2-0 shutout in eight innings. "We needed baserunners. It was 0-0 in the top…

Knolls falls to Ridgewood

DENVILLE _ The first four innings, all 1-2-3, were the best all season by Morris Knolls pitcher Kayla Turcios. Turcios, a sophomore right-hander, obviously, did not give up a hit for the majority of the North Jersey Section 1, Group IV quarterfinal. The Golden Eagles scored a first-inning run and, for awhile, it certainly seemed like it might just be enough. Ridgewood broke through for a single in the fifth inning and Turcios gave up a walk. Those runners were left on and Morris Knolls was able to cling to its slim lead. In the sixth inning, however, the Maroons…

Zannelli's three RBIs key for Lakers

MOUNTAIN LAKES _ Nikki Zannelli has a hit in every game but one this season yet Mountain Lakes' junior second baseman considered herself in a slump going into the Lakers' game against Boonton. Zannelli felt something was amiss and that led to her being videotaped by Mountain Lakes coach Alison Preston. "Going into our game on Friday, Nikki said 'I don't know what's wrong. I can't hit,'" Preston recalled. The videotape revealed that Zannelli wasn't tracking the ball. Her head was in but her eyes weren't following the pitch. However, after the Lakers' 7-5 victory over Boonton on Monday, May…

Hornets hang on, gain MCT title

ROXBURY _ Hanover Park pitcher Jessica Miller squeezed the popup in her mitt, exhaled and spiked the ball into the infield dirt. Finally, it was over. Miller's stomach turned many times in the top of the seventh inning when Mount Olive cut into the Hornets' once-substantial lead. Eleven batters took their turns at the plate. Five runs scored but fifth-seeded Hanover Park held on for a 9-7 victory over the sixth-seeded Marauders at Landing Park to garner their first Morris County Tournament title in 39 years. "All of the frustration and excitement just came out," said Miller of the celebratory…