BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Governor Livingston Highlanders softball team enjoyed an outstanding season. The team finished with a 22-5 record and advanced all the way to the Group 2 semifinals where they suffered a tough 8-4 loss to Matawan. The team finished #1 in the Union County Conference, #6 in Group 2, and captured the Union County Conference-Watchung Division title.
Two members of the softball team were rewarded by the Star Ledger for their efforts. Freshman Jamie Belfer was named to the All Group 2 First Team and sophomore Alanna Namit was named to the All Group 2 Third Team.
Belfer batted .461, recorded 42 hits, 25 RBIs, 18 stolen bases, and scored 32 runs. Belfer also drew 15 walks. The freshman had an 8-1 record on the mound this season, allowed just 20 runs, and registered 47 strikeouts.
“What Jamie did this season was amazing considering she’s just a freshman,” Governor Livingston head softball coach Mike Roof said. “Jamie’s going to have a phenomenal next three years if she continues to improve, which is a scary thought. She’s multi-talented, very levelheaded, and an overall great kid and hard worker who looks to get better every day.”
Belfer’s performance in the loss to Matawan is what stands out to Roof the most from this past season in terms of her season highlights. Belfer went 3-4 at the plate and scored a run but something more unique impressed Roof that day.
“Jamie was a constant threat that entire game while she was on base,” Roof said. “Jamie’s ability to generate runs by herself is what separates her from a lot of other players. Her talent makes it so much easier on you as a Coach.”
Namit batted .304, recorded 28 hits, 20 RBIs, scored 18 runs, and drew 13 walks. On the mound, Namit went 14-4 and registered a remarkable 119 strikeouts.
“Alanna was tough as a batter this season,” Roof said. “She’s got an edge to her, will battle, and never gives up. Every time she was in a tough spot on the mound this season, she found a way to bare down and get through the inning.”
Namit’s talent and ability to fight through innings was on full display in the Union County Tournament Final win over Cranford. Namit pitched the entire game, recorded 12 strikeouts, and allowed just two walks. After her team scored the game’s first four runs, Cranford responded with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. With her team clinging to a one-run lead, Namit settled down by striking out a Cranford batter to end the inning. Namit’s dominance the rest of the way helped her team hold on for the 4-3 win.
"Alanna’s competitive edge got her through that fourth inning,” Roof said. “Her ability to lock in when she needs to is impressive.”
The fact that Belfer and Namit are just a freshman and sophomore, respectively, is a scary thought for Governor Livingston’s opponents. If Belfer and Namit continue to improve as expected, the two could easily form one of the state’s scarier tandems the next two seasons. Their coach is certainly excited about the prospects.
“The success of Jamie and Alanna gives us as a coaching staff the opportunity to try other things,” Roof said. “They’re two great kids who are willing to listen and take constructive criticism very well. A lot of players don’t react well to constructive criticism but Jaime and Alanna take it well and adjust as needed.”