BORDENTOWN, NJ- The Arthur L. Johnson High School Crusaders varsity softball team took to the road to square off with the Bordentown High School Scotties for the third consecutive season in the state tournament.
The third-seeded Crusaders received timely hitting in key innings, featuring big hits from junior Victoria Zatko, senior Lauren Donah and sophomore Megan Tinger, part of a ten-hit attack to defeat the second-seeded Scotties 7-3 in the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 2 Semifinals Friday afternoon in Bordentown.
The Johnson Crusaders (19-5) advance to the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 2 Sectional Final. They will travel to play at top-seeded Robbinsville HS Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.
Bordentown took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning with an RBI single from sophomore starting pitcher Annabella Prispia, scoring sophomore Rachel Scranton.
Johnson responded in the top of the fourth inning as soon as they got to the plate. After a single from senior Nicole Cassano and a walk from senior Lauren Donah, sophomore Megan Tinger doubled to right field, scoring both Cassano and Donah to give Johnson a 2-1 lead.
The Crusaders provided the big blow with a five-run fifth inning, batting around the entire order and sending ten batters to the plate. After singles from Sydney Tropeano and Jen Tinger, senior Mackenzie Purcell worked a walk to load the bases for Cassano. Tropeano scored on an error to increase their lead to 3-1.
Zatko stepped up to the plate next and added to the rally, smacking a 2-2 pitch into shallow left field, scoring Tinger and Purcell to make it a 5-1 lead for Johnson. Donah followed that with a single of her own, scoring two more runs, making it a 7-1 lead.
Bordentown added two more runs on a misplayed ball in the bottom of the sixth inning to cut the lead down to 7-3, but Cassano got the final outs to secure the win.