BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Governor Livingston varsity softball team only needed 5 innings to secure a victory against Kennedy on Monday. Though Kennedy scored first in the top of the first inning, the Highlanders scored 11 unanswered points in the first three innings to make the score 11-1. This score remained unchanged until the fifth inning, allowing the Highlanders to win by mercy rule.

Senior pitcher Jamie Belfer established the tone of the game with her first pitch—a fast-paced strike right down the plate. Belfer pitched the whole game for the Highlanders, acting as the nucleus of GL’s defense.

The highpoint of the Highlander’s game, however, was their offensive strength. A total-team effort at the plate propelled them to victory, while holding Kennedy’s offensive game to a minimum.

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“We were very aggressive at the plate today. Usually we are stronger on defense but I think everyone on the team contributed offensively,” said second-baseman Janey Moribito.

GL started gaining a significant lead during the first inning and picked up steam in the second. The third clenched their win.

By the end of the first inning, the Highlanders were leading their opponents, 3-1. Another two runs scored in the second, due to Moribito’s single that sent to Highlanders home, put them up 5-1.

The third inning helped lift the Highlanders over their opponent 10 runs. After going three and out, Kennedy had to perform on defense to hold the Highlanders back. GL, however, took their opportunity to send players to the plate. Evan Pallitta’s triple sent in the final two runners of the inning, making the score 11-1 by the time the fourth commenced.

Neither GL nor Kennedy scored in the following two innings, meaning GL won by mercy rule. A strong performance on the mound and a few clutch defensive plays by Jaime Belfer in the last two innings secured the victory for the Highlanders.

Next, the Highlanders are looking to improve on their game to further them into the state tournament.

“For the next round of states we need to keep the mindset that we had this game when we go up to bat, just be aggressive from the start of the count and put the ball in play,” Moribito added, “Also we could always work on communicating better on defense and overall cleaner performances in the field.”