RANDOLPH, NJ- The Randolph Girls Varsity Softball season is in its second week, and the Lady Rams are 1-2. On Wednesday, April 9, Randolph traded early runs with Morristown and took a tied game into the 7th, but ultimately fell 6-3. Junior Kelly O'Neill threw 7 innings, striking out six as errors cost both teams. Cynthia Meringer, Casey Levens and O'Neill had Rbi's.
Randolph opened the season on the first of April with a 3-6 loss at West Morris Central, and on Monday April 7th they blanked Chatham 2-0 behind O'Neill's 4-hit shutout. The early season has seen a pair of games postponed by the weather as well as the opening of their retooled varsity field.
“Its hard for anybody to gain momentum, everybody has been impacted by the weather and the field conditions,” said coach Brianne McBreen, in her 6th season heading up the program. “We're here playing at Center Grove, they built a brand new field for us and it's still underwater. There's not one team that hasn't been impacted.”
As for the players there have been a lot of positive signs as they played 2 error free games before Wednesday. “I feel good about where we are, we just need to make the plays,” said junior Kelly O'Neill, Randolph's top pitcher since breaking out as a freshman. She will draw more than the majority of the starts for Randolph, who will need someone else to eat some innings if she is not available.
The team gets contributions from underclassmen, but the infield and the lineup relies on juniors Amanda Beatrice and junior captain Cynthia Meringer as well as senior captain Casey Levens. Sophomore Rachel Fennell, goalie for Randolph's varsity soccer team plays behind the plate. “I think we're off to a pretty good start,” said Levens, the 3rd baseman. “I feel like the only reason why we're losing are errors. Besides that we have pretty good offense and defense. Our main problem is once we make an error we cant shake it off.”
Most of the Rams errors Wednesday were on balls thrown out of play, unfortunately at Center Grove that line is 10 feet from the base paths. But the team is back at it soon and will have more than a few lessons to take from their first few games.
“Their a true team, they have strong leadership through Cynthia (Meringer) and Casey (Levens),” said McBreen. “Defensively we've been holding our own. Today just wasn't our day. We've had a lot of strong at bats but they just weren't falling. . . They have the fundamentals, they have the foundation to build upon. We just need to be outside practicing day in, day out. Put it all together and we'll be in good shape.”