MONTVILLE _ With its roster void of seniors and low on experienced players, Montville knows it's not in the conversation when people discuss the Morris County Softball Tournament. The 10th-seeded Mustangs don't mind being left out. They actually like it that way.
JEFFERSON _ The second inning of the Jefferson-Sparta game was a marathon. For the Falcons, it was an offensive bonanza. Jefferson, which sent 12 batters to the plate, put across all eight of its runs in the inning.
ROXBURY _ West Morris took great interest in the Roxbury-Lenape Valley game at last weekend's Randolph Challenge. No doubt, the Wolfpack's 12-run loss to the Patriots - their first setback of the season - was a bit shocking. That's why they wanted to see how Roxbury was faring.
MORRISTOWN _ The loss stung, as first setbacks always do, but, a few hours later, Chatham's spirits were boosted. The Cougars, edged 1-0 by Morris Knolls on Tuesday, April 17, received the No. 1 seed for the Morris County Softball Tournament.
SPARTA _ Hannah Mucerino is known for hitting the ball hard, for making the most out of every trip to the batter's box. In her last at-bat on Tuesday, April 17 versus Pope John, Mucerino, Whippany Park's shortstop, looked over each pitch carefully and worked the count to full before drawing a bases-loaded walk.
Kitchen cabinets typically hold dishes and glasses and other essential items but one of Maryann Goodwin's is teeming with something else - softball victories. Goodwin, in her 12th season as Pequannock's softball coach, has a small bulletin board where she keeps track of her team's records.
CHATHAM _ After pulling out a 1-0 victory over St. John Vianney in the bottom of the seventh inning, Chatham coach Alexis Davies deemed her team "emotionally frazzled." The host Cougars, though, had enough left to prevail in a second nailbiter in the final of their tournament on Saturday, April 14.
DOVER _ Kinnelon needed to turn things around and to do it quickly. With the Morris County Tournament seeding meeting looming, the Colts, winless over their first three games, wanted to make sure they didn't wind up at the bottom of the heap.
DENVILLE _ Morris Knolls coach Keith Heinemann didn't want to want to wait until crisis level for his team to address its issues. The problems were minor and Heinemann wasn't panicking but he felt the Golden Eagles needed to pull together after a shutout loss to Livingston.
PEQUANNOCK _ Chatham's McCall Moore stood in the batter's box in the second inning watching as pitch after pitch zipped past her. Moore, the Cougars' junior center fielder, was upset with herself for "letting the good ones go by" in her initial at-bat against Pequannock ace Dana Nielsen.
BOONTON _ Perfection isn't easily attained and it may not last but, for now, Boonton intends to enjoy the ride. The Bombers, off to a 6-0 start, are actually giddy about their early season success. It's evident in the players' voices, demeanor and positive outlook.
ROCKAWAY _ Twenty minutes after Whippany Park's 7-6 victory over Morris Hills in the final of the Morris Hills Tournament, Wildcats coach Todd Callaghan was still astonished by what he witnessed in the fifth inning. Callaghan wasn't begrudging the Scarlet Knights the hits they got that produced three runs. However, he couldn't believe the uncharacteristic three errors Whippany Park committed enabling Morris Hills to load the bases with two outs.
PARSIPPANY _ It was the spring of 2009 when Parsippany Hills' Katie Schnabel, then a freshman playing on junior varsity, hit the first home run of her high school career. Schnabel remembers the ball "rolling and rolling," giving her plenty of time to circle the bases.
RANDOLPH _ There are many words Roxbury pitcher Ashtin Helmer could've used to describe Holly Arentowicz's exceptional hitting display versus Randolph in the softball opener for both teams. Helmer thought for a few seconds before settling on "breathtaking."
SPARTA _ Four sophomores and a freshman figure prominently in the Pope John softball team's plans this spring. Don't be fooled into thinking the Lions are young and vulnerable, though. With one year of experience to the sophomores' credit, a top-notch ninth grader, Kaylee Powers, at shortstop and a talented group of upperclassmen, they're ready to make a serious run at several titles.
DENVILLE _ The end of June and early July was a busy time for Morris Knolls' Kiki Baldassari. From June 27 through July 3, Baldassari was playing softball for the New Jersey Pride in the Fireworks Tournament in Aurora, Colo. Baldassari was barely home when it was time to pack again for a visit to Providence College on July 6.