THOROFARE, NJ -- A double-header in triple digit heat. Five games in 48 hours. Three match ups against the same opponent. The Robbinsville 10U Softball team's grit and determination through every obstacle was on full display this weekend as the team clinched the New Jersey State Championship title for their division.
The team dug deep in their Sunday morning game against Swedesboro-Woolwich whom they had lost to Friday night. Down 7-1 after three innings Robbinsville mounted an epic comeback in the fourth.
Jess Shoenfelt stepped up and got huge hit with bases load to bring the score to 7-3. Ryan Penzone next made a clutch hit scoring two followed by Gabby Sabol who doubled. A cool then Kiera Pierini stepped to the plate and blasted a triple to fence to tie it up at seven.
In the fifth inning, Lexi Lopez singled while Maura Halpin bunted and beat the throw to first. Lopez then scored on a passed ball putting the team in a winning position. Back on the mound, she pitched a scoreless sixth inning closed the door on their opponent making a comeback.
The first game of the day ended in an 8-7 win over Swedesboro-Woolwich forcing a second game between the two teams to decide the state championship.
The girls took to the field again, after only a one-hour break in much-needed air-conditioning, with bats still ablaze. They hit lightening once again by scoring six runs in just the first inning.
At the plate, Hayden Bustos, Katie Murphy and Adrianna Cepeda all contributed key RBIs. Lucia Canuso and Bustos provided aggressive running on the base-paths in key situations. Star pitcher Aleiya O’Neal pitched a flawless final four innings to seal the win.
The team kept the momentum going in triple digit temperatures in a thrilling game that ended in an 11 to three victory.
The 10U team will now head to the national regional tournament which begins next weekend in West Pittson, Pennsylvania.
Know a story we should share with readers? Email editor Elizabeth Meyers and tell her about it.