CRANFORD - The young Cranford High School varsity softball team opened some eyes this year and have raised expectations for the upcoming 2020 season.

The Cougars finished the season 14-6 and made it to the North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 semifinals before dropping a 1-0 contest with Chatham. Cranford had a new head coach this year in Christine Pemoulie. Pemoulie wasn't completely new to the program as she served the past couple seasons as an assistant coach.

"It was definitely a learning experience in so many ways, but it was incredible and I had such a great group of girls," said Pemoulie. "I could not be happier with how the season went. My team played so well and made it very far in both the county and state tournaments."

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The Cougars graduate just four seniors, but that includes cleanup hitter and starting catcher Erin Schwedtfeger. According to reported stats, Schwedtfeger mashed eight homeruns over her varsity career. Bridget Dineen, Grace Kisly, and Jayna Mallon have also graduated. 

Though the biggest power threat is gone, the Cougars will however return seven starters including leadoff hitter Elizabeth McCaffery who hit .366 with two home runs and eight stolen bases and starting pitcher Morrigan Gardiner who went 12-6 over 109.1 innings with 162 strikeouts. Gardiner also helped out her own cause at the plate batting .524 with two home runs and 15 RBI. 

"This is beyond exciting," said Pemoulie. "Not only do we have such a strong core still on the team, but awesome talent coming up as well. It’s all really exciting. I think this year they saw how well they can do and what potential we have. I always told them it’s about believing in themselves and each other and I think they’ll take this season to motivate them for years to come."

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