CHATHAM, NJ -It took three days to finish Chatham’s first round of the NJSIAA North 2, Group 3 state softball tournament, but the Lady Cougars managed to pull out a win that gave them their 20th victory and a spot in the second round.
Chatham (20-7) resumed the game, which was postponed due to rain on Monday, by shutting down Somerville’s offense. With runners on second and third in the top of the fourth, pitcher Melissa Landry notched a strikeout to end the threat.
Landry and Chatham went on to win the game, 7-2, and earn first-year coach Brian Figueiredo a homecoming game at South Plainfield on Thursday in the second round.
Figueiredo was a longtime assistant coach at South Plainfield before securing his first softball head coaching job at Chatham this year.
On Monday, Somerville had taken a 2-0 lead in the top of the second before Chatham pushed across four runs in the bottom of the second before rain suspended the game.
“It was not the start we were looking for, but we got out of it,” Figueiredo said. "We just need to go out and attack the game.”
Chatham’s defense backed a 1-2-3 inning by Landry in the fifth as shortstop Camryn Davies leaped to grab a hard-hit ball, Julia Piness ran down a pop fly in center and Landry fielded a come-backer to throw out the batter.
Morgan Pellegrin, Anna Lengner and Sarah Stubeck each knocked home a run in the fifth when Chatham extended its lead to 7-2.
Caroline Viscovich and Stubeck finished with two hits apiece, with Stubeck collecting two RBI.
“That’s a fantastic year when you get 20 wins," Figueiredo said. “We talked about having a big inning and it didn’t come right away, but it came when we got those three runs. We’re going (to South Plainfield) to win. We have a long way to go; summer has come upon us, and we’re still playing."