MOUNT OLIVE _ The milestone was getting closer and Mount Olive coach Bill Romano noticed that Alyssa Borozan, always calm inthe batter's box, was beginning to become anxious.
"Alyssa was taking deep breaths," Romano said. "She usually doesn't do that. Maybe she was feeling a little pressure. I told her 'Just hit it hard somewhere.' Alyssa was going to get the hits. She had to relax."
Borozan, a junior left fielder and pitcher, ceased the uncharacteristic fretting and cleared her head. On April 29, in the seventh inning of the Marauders' Morris County Tournament quarterfinal-round game against Pequannock, Borozan rapped out her 100th career hit - a one-out single over second base - aand gained entry into the 100-hit club.
"I was really happy to do it," Borozan said. "It was something I thought about, especially after freshman year when I got 35 hits. I figured maybe it was possible that I could reach 100. It was awesome. It's a memory I'll take with me."
Making the achievement bittersweet was Mount Olive's 8-2 loss to the Golden Panthers. Borozan, the leadoff batter, was hitless in her first three at-bats and eager to get on base.
"I was a little tense," she recalled. "I needed to hit the ball."
Once she sent a line drive into center field, her teammates swarmed her at first base. A friend gave her balloons that spelled out "100." Fans at the game waved large cutouts of her face.
"It was a great thing," Romano said. "To get 100 hits as a junior is impressive. Alyssa is a true competitor. She works hard. That's for sure."
Borozan, who had 26 hits, 10 of them for extra bases, and 17 RBIs as of Monday, May 1, has been honing her hitting for many, many years. At the age of 8, she was willing to take extra swings and devote extra time to improving her offensive skills.
"It sounds corny but I do put in a lot of work," Borozan said. "I'm the last to leave practice. I go to the cage with my dad. If I have spare time, I hit. I work on the psychological part, too. That's important."
Borozan's father, Mike, has had a major impact on her.
"He's usually on my butt about everything," she said. "He pushes me. He sends me stats. He's my biggest critic but my biggest supporter."
After graduation, Borozan wants to continue playing softball. She is looking into the programs at Monmouth, University of Delaware and Towson. She is considering majoring in physical therapy or psychology.
Until then, Borozan, who boasts a .824 slugging percentage, intends to spark Mount Olive's attack and get it on a winning streak. Recently, the Marauders strung together seven consecutive victories. However, they have lost three of their last four.