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Marauders' memorable journey comes to an end

UNION _ The dirt stain on the right side of Lindsey Walter's uniform stretched from chest to knee, the result of several head-first slides and representative of another all-out Mount Olive effort. Walter's post-game face expressed sadness then a smile. There were some tears mixed in. Despite what the scoreboard at Kean University displayed at the conclusion of the Group IV title game: Hightstown 9, Mount Olive 4, Walter and her Marauder teammates felt very much like winners. A six-game winning streak, which commenced five days after a setback to Morris Knolls in the Morris County Tournament final, was a…

Chatham headed to Group III final

NEWARK _ Sara Iuzzolino, Anna Lengner and Jocelyn Spencer all came through with prime-time clutch performances. And at just the right moment of the season. Chatham's terrific trio helped lead the Cougars past West Milford, 6-0, in a Group III semifinal state tournament game on Friday, May 31 at the Mike Sheppard, Sr. Softball Complex on the Seton Hall University campus. Chatham advances to its first-ever state softball championship game and will meet Middletown North (26-6), a 1-0 victor over Delsea in the Central-South Group III semifinal, for the title on Sunday, June 2 at Kean University in Union at…

Mt. Olive triumphs; Wildcats exit

NEWARK _ Mount Olive's pitchers have been the epitome of stingy during the team's state tournament run. Anna Callahan and Lindsey Walter have not given up an earned run in the Marauders' last five games, certainly an impressive feat. Their efforts may have been a bit overlooked because Mount Olive's bats are booming and have produced 33 runs during that stretch. On Friday, May 31, Walter came on in relief of Callahan and allowed one hit over the last 2 1/3 innings when the Marauders defeated North Hunterdon 5-2 in a Group IV semifinal at Ivy Hill Park. The victory…

Pettenger's base hit propels Marauders

DENVILLE _ Kaitlin Pettenger and Lindsey Walter both responded positively to high-pressure challenges. As a result, Mount Olive is headed to the sectional championship game after the Marauders edged Morris Knolls, 3-2, in a heart-pounding thriller on Friday, May 24 in North Jersey Section 1, Group IV state semifinal action. The fifth-seeded Marauders (17-6) will host sixth-seeded Bergen Tech (22-7), a 5-2 victor over seventh-seeded Randolph (13-9) in a game concluded Friday after starting Thursday and then being delayed by rain in the seventh inning with the Knights ahead, 5-0, on Tuesday, May 28 in the sectional final. Pettenger, a…

Cougars avenge loss to Wolfpack

CHATHAM _ Anna Lengner battled until the very end and she benefitted from some excellent glovework behind her, too. Lengner threw a shutout for five innings and then stranded three base runners in scoring position in the final two frames to help Chatham edge West Morris Central, 3-2, in a North Jersey Section 2, Group III quarterfinal at Shunpike Field on Monday, May 20. The third-seeded Cougars (16-8) have won five of their last six games and will host seventh-seeded Cranford, a 10-3 winner over second-seeded Belleville, in a state sectional semifinal game Thursday, May 23, at 4 p.m. A…

Panthers triumph behind Toone, Cucci

PEQUANNOCK _ Brielle Toone and Julia Cucci shined in a pressurized state tournament atmosphere.Toone came up big in the pitcher's circle and Cucci gave a top-drawer performance at the plate to lead Pequannock past Newton, 7-4, in a North Jersey Section 1, Group II first round NJSIAA Softball Tournament game on Thursday, May 16. Fifth-seeded Pequannock advances in the states and will travel to meet fourth-seeded Glen Rock, a 3-1 victor over 13th-seeded Kittatinny, on Monday at 4 p.m. in a sectional quarterfinal contest. A sophomore right-hander, Toone tossed a masterful complete game, scattering nine hits, striking out two and…

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…

Strong showing by Morris Knolls

NEWARK _ Morris Knolls showed a lot of fight and comeback spirit at the National Fastpitch Coaches Association New Jersey High School Leadoff Classic Softball Tournament. A youthful but resourceful Golden Eagles squad battled back from two early deficits to trim Blair Academy, 6-5, in a morning quarterfinal. In its second game of the day, Morris Knolls turned back Ramsey, 5-0, to advance to Sunday's final. In the Group I championship game on Sunday, Morris Knolls fell to Bergen County and state power Immaculate Heart Academy, 8-5. The Blue Eagles scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning…