NEWARK, NJ -- After seven scoreless innings, the (22-5, 11-1 SEC) Mount St. Dominic Lions finally scored the only run of the game in extra innings to defeat the (16-10, 6-4 SEC) Bloomfield Bengals in the Friday night Essex County Semifinals.

After the team suffered a number of strikeouts and outfield catches from the defense, Abigail Garaban of the Lions stole home on an RBI from her teammate Sarah Taffett.

“We played with a lot of enthusiasm and intensity,” Bengals Head Coach Bob Mayer said in a post-game interview. “We played great defense.”

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Pitching for all eight innings, freshman Lexi Corio accumulated six strikeouts against the Lions.

“To do what she did in front of such a big crowd and against a team like that is really outstanding,” Mayer told TAPinto Bloomfield.

Corio has pitched in 80 percent of Bloomfield’s games this season, recording a team-high 134 strikeouts.

Mount St. Dominic’s Julianna Kocenski prevented the Bengals from scoring with 13 strikeouts.

Mayer said his two lead hitters Jalia Santos and Kristina Collins have been the driving force behind Bloomfield’s successful season. Both girls have surpassed 40 season hits and Santos has accumulated 46 RBIs. 

“She is very close to the school record in RBIs,” Mayer told TAPinto Bloomfield.

Following one of the closest teams of the season for both teams, the Lions will advance to the Essex County Final where they will take on the West Essex Knights, as the Bengals prepare for their Monday night battle with the (14-11, 5-5 NJTCC) Ridgewood Maroons in the second round of the NJSIAA State Tournament.

“They’re a tough team, but if we hit the ball and play good defense, we should be OK,” Mayer said.

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