BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Gov. Livingston softball team is working an 18 game win streak, but more importantly, they have exacted a measure of revenge in their 1-0 Union County Championship victory defeating Arthur L. Johnson, 1-0, having lost last year's county tournament championship to them, 7-0.

On this Championship journey, senior catcher Katie Debbie has been expertly handling the pitching staff, sacrificing herself so nothing gets by her and is the defensive and emotional leader on the field. She had played a key role, batting .500 for the tournament with 6 hits and 5 runs batted in. 

Winning the County Championship was one of the best feelings in the world, said Debbie. What made it more special was winning it in her last season as a Highlander. "After last year's loss to ALJ in the county final, I was devastated. I knew we had to be back on top this year, and my team and I definitely showed that."

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The team's success hasn't come without hard work. Debbie explained a  typical practice that includes base drills working plays to each base. "The last person to throw calls a new base for the other girl to throw to," said Debbie. They practice specific plays that need to be worked on to be ready for game day -- and if "we mess up on something in the game before, then we'll practice it and fix it."  And, of course, practice wraps up with sessions of hitting in the red gym.

Debbie has been playing softball since she was four years old, playing with some of her teammates since they were very little. So, to win the Union County Championship her senior year with her long-time teammates has been a favorite GL memory to date. However, look to see more success from this 20-2 Lady Highlander team as they head into the State Tournament looking to bring home another title for GL.  

Below are comments from Katie regarding her past, present and future:
TAPinto Berkeley Heights:  What are you going to miss most about GL softball?
Katie: I'm going to miss GL Softball tremendously, we've grown so much together. I have been playing with some of my teammates since we were little, so I'm going to miss them the most.

TAPinto Berkeley Heights: Who is your biggest role model?
Katie: My biggest role model would have to be my grandpa. He played baseball when he was younger, so when he found out I was interested in softball he was so excited. He's at almost all of my games, whether it's 2 hours away or right down the street.

TAPinto Berkeley Heights: What's your favorite part about softball?
Katie: My favorite thing about softball is the people you get to meet, just from softball I know people from all over the state.

TAPinto Berkeley Heights: If you could hang out with any athlete for the day, who would it be?
Katie: I would definitely hang out with David Ortiz, he just recently retired from the Red Sox and he's one of the greatest hitters in baseball. He will always be my favorite baseball player, hands down.

TAPinto Berkeley Heights: What's the best thing about GL, in your opinion?
Katie: The best thing about GL is that we're all a family. There's no better way to put it.

TAPinto Berkeley Heights: We heard you are attending Kean University to play softball in the fall. Why did you choose Kean to further your education?
Katie: I'm going to be studying Criminal Justice in the fall, and Kean has one of the best Criminal Justice programs in the state. I wanted to stay close to home, but I'm still not too close to home at the same time. They also have one of the best softball programs in the state, they just recently won the NJAC Championship! I'm so excited to further my academic and athletic career at such a great school.

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Delicious Heights Highlander Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Delicious Heights, a family restaurant with three locations; Berkeley Heights, Bedminster and Basking Ridge, where it is part of the Basking Ridge County Club operating a public restaurant with outdoor dining, and acting as the banquet caterer, boasting a facility with panoramic views of the sprawling golf course. Visit our website, www.deliciousheights.com for weekly specials including Happy Hour specials from 3-6pm and daily featured dinner and lunch specials. Delicious Heights....where our only limitations are yours!

Delicious Heights is located at 428 Springfield Avenue in Berkeley Heights. 908.464.3287; 285 Main Street in Bedminster. 908.234.1596; 185 Madisonville Road in Basking Ridge. 908.766.9499.