MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ - The Gov. Livingston softball team barely held onto an early power surge to escape with a 7-6 victory over Cranford on Tuesday night at Deerfield School in Mountainside.
Holding what appeared to be a safe seven run lead, Namit, who will pitch in the county finals on Friday evening, was relieved after the sixth inning after dominating the Cougars. However, to the credit of Cranford, they never gave up as they put up six runs before Namit reentered and got the game's final three outs.
The victory came on a night of celebration in honor of the six Highlander seniors:
- Katie Debbie will continue to play softball for Kean University,
- Alyssa Hammer will attend Kean University,
- Alanna Namit will continue to play softball at The College of New Jersey,
- Christine Pacheco will attend University of Delaware,
- Maddie Phillips will attend Stockton University,
- Nicole Trezza will continue to play softball at Amherst College.
The stands were packed with family, friends and fans ready to cheer on the 18-2 Lady Highlanders. With this win, GL has extended their win streak to 16.
Namit, a standout senior right-hander for GL (10-2), was nearly perfect on the mound pitching a one-hitter after six innings with 10 game strikeouts, allowing two walks. She struck out the side in the second and third and two each in the fourth and seventh innings.
Jaime Belfer (2-for-4) crushed a triple to bring in Hammer, Alyssa Lombardi and Pacheco in the second to get on the board. Phillips followed with a triple of her own driving home Belfer to take a 4-0 lead.
Lombardi scored Trezza and Hammer on a ground out with a double steal after a fielding error by Cranford in the third to advance GL's lead to 6-0. The Lady Highlanders notched one more run by Belfer who led off with a double in the fourth and stole third; Namit followed with a double and Debbie with a single.
The Cougars clawed their way back into the game in the top of the seventh with six runs scored against GL relief pitcher Christine Pacheco. With no outs, Namit reentered to close out the game for the victory.
GL will compete in their eighth consecutive UCT Championship Final on Friday against Arthur L. Johnson at Flanagan Field in Linden at 6 p.m.
Editor's note: The GL JV softball team will compete in the UCT JV Championship final preceding the varsity finals on Friday against Arthur L. Johnson at 4 p.m.