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Softball

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…

Gaels prevail, gain first final since 1997

ROXBURY _ Paige Donnelly went through many phases of emotion during Roxbury's Morris County Softball Tournament semifinal versus top-seeded Whippany Park. Donnelly, a senior shortstop, was choked up after hitting a hard shot off the left foot of Wildcats first baseman Makayla Schwippert in the sixth inning. An inning later, Donnelly doubled and cried in the dugout. And, finally, she did what would be expected following a monumental victory... "I broke down in the huddle," said Donnelly shortly after the fifth-seeded Gaels pulled off a dramatic upset by scoring all of their runs in the sixth and seventh innings to…

MC bats erupt in MCT win over Panthers

ROXBURY _ Three weeks into the season, Morris Catholic’s Dani Berlin went from second to seventh in the order but wasn’t offended. Alex Eckerson has dwelled at the bottom of the lineup all spring but doesn’t mind one bit. She relishes proving people wrong. Berlin and Eckerson, clearly at ease with their roles, had two hits and two RBIs apiece to help the second-seeded Crusaders to a 10-0 victory over No. 6 Pequannock in a Morris County Tournament semifinal on Tuesday, May 25 at Landing Park. In the other semifinal, Roxbury scored all of its runs in the last two…

Foreman HR, 12-hit attack pace Crusaders

DENVILLE _ With the way Morris Catholic's Gianna Foreman been ripping into the ball of late, it's hard to fathom that she's ever experienced a slump. Early in April, however, Foreman, the Crusaders' cleanup hitter and third baseman, was in a deep preseason funk. She was dropping her shoulder and her pitch selection was lacking. "It was my head, too," the junior slugger said. After sitting out the first game with a knee injury, Foreman soon rediscovered her power stroke and has been coming up big at the plate. On Tuesday, May 18, Foreman hit her fifth home run, a…

Wildcats win battle of unbeatens

HANOVER _ Senior Julia Swan made sure she saved her best stuff for when it mattered most, freshman Mikaela Schwippert came up with a clutch hit and Swan's sister, Mikayla, a sophomore, did a solid job both at the plate and in the field. Sparked by a complete team effort, undefeated Whippany Park edged previously unbeaten Morris Catholic, 2-1, on Thursday, May 6 in a NJAC-Liberty Division softball game.   Right-hander Julia Swan was dominant in the circle, going the distance and surrendering four hits, striking out nine, walking none and hitting one batter to improve to 8-0 this season and…

Vincent's homer boosts Parsippany

PARSIPPANY _ Sara Vincent circled the bases after her home run, elated and proud of her first varsity blast. Vincent, Parsippany's third baseman, however, slipped crossing home plate and fell backwards but that made her tie-breaking two-run shot over the center field fence in the sixth inning even more memorable. Nothing was going to deprive her of the joy she was feeling. The one-out home run, which came off a first pitch, was the third of the day for the Red Hawks, who used a five-run outburst en route to a 7-2 victory over Hanover Park on Thursday, May 6. "I…

MK's Hua, Heitmann finding joy on diamond

ROCKAWAY _ Kayla Hua, Morris Knolls' senior shortstop and leadoff batter, has no qualms about playing softball after undergoing two knee surgeries since August of 2018. Hua's classmate, Casey Heitmann, is glad to have rediscovered her power stroke and was doubly glad to have her father present when she launched her first home run of the 2021 season. The ongoing pandemic, which caused the Golden Eagles and a plethora of athletes nationwide on all levels to miss the last spring season, has made them grateful and appreciative to be on the field, the track and the court. Hua and Heitmann love…