Holmdel, N.J. - This spring has been one to remember for the Holmdel High School softball team, who continued to light up the diamond on Thursday against Voorhees in the first round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 2 Tournament.
Rolling to its single-season program record 16th win of the spring, a total team effort helped Holmdel defeat Voorhees 10-1 to advance to the quarterfinals.
“We had a lot of goals at the beginning of the season. One of them was making it into the Shore Conference Tournament and one of them was to win the first round of states,” said Holmdel softball coach Nora Bosmans. “By having small goals each week, it helped us focus on the big goals as the season progressed. The kids have been working really hard and it’s starting to pay off.”
Holmdel took control of the contest early with a big five-run first inning.
Allison Yan knocked home the game’s first run with an RBI single to put the Hornets up 1-0.
After Nicolette Pavlik’s RBI fielder’s choice made it a two-run lead for Holmdel, Abbey Quirk helped extend the Hornets lead again with two-outs, ripping an RBI single up the middle to make it 3-0.
Crystal Carino followed with a double to set up runners on second and third for Isabella Lamberti, who put the ball in play to help Holmdel add two more runs.
Lamberti lifted a fly ball to right field that the Voorhees right fielder dropped, allowing both Quirk and Carino to score to put Holmdel up 5-0.
With a five-run lead in hand, Holmdel ace Tara Musialowicz sizzled in the circle and continued to throw up zeros for the Hornets.
After giving a leadoff single to start the third inning, Musialowicz barred down and retired the next three batters in order, two of which coming by strikeout to get out of the little jam.
Musialowicz picked up her game-high fifth strikeout of the contest to end the fifth inning, giving her five scoreless innings in the circle to begin the game.
The senior finished allowing only one run on four hits in her complete-game performance in the circle to get the win. Musialowicz now has 129 strikeouts this season.
“There’s always a struggle to make sure your always on, but I always know that I have my teammates behind me to make plays and back me up,” Musialowicz said. “We have a really good defense.”
Quirk again helped extend the Holmdel lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, smacking a line drive to left field to knock in her second run of the contest to put the Hornets up 6-0.
The senior went two-for-four at the dish in the win.
“I really enjoy having runners on base and getting the chance to bring them in,” Abbey Quirk said. “I hope to have fun when I’m up at the plate. The pressure makes me play better.”
Voorhees got on the board on an RBI groundout in the sixth inning, but Holmdel answered back in the bottom frame with a four-run inning.
Quirk’s sister Emma knocked home Holmdel’s first run of the inning, slapping an RBI double to right center that made it a six-run lead again for the Hornets.
With the bases loaded, no outs and now leading 8-1, Pavlik stood at the plate for Holmdel and the junior stamped the Hornets’ trip to the quarterfinals with a roaring two-run single, giving her a game-high 3 RBI.
Pavlik now has a team-high 21 RBI this season for Holmdel and had two hits in the win.
“It felt pretty nice,” Pavlik said on her two-run single. “We had to keep on scoring to win the game.”
Allison Yan and Emma Quirk each had two hits in the win for Holmdel. Yan leads the team with 28 hits this season.
Holmdel is now 16-4 on the season and have won six of its last seven games.
The Hornets will play Delaware Valley in the quarterfinals of the sectional tournament on Monday. Holmdel plays Brick Memorial in the quarterfinals of the Shore Conference Tournament on Saturday.
With the team having one of the best seasons in the program’s history, Bosmans couldn’t be prouder and happier for the success her players have been having this spring.
“Their hard work is really paying off,” Bosmans said. “I’ve seen these kids grow up since fifth or sixth grade and I know the time and effort they put in. It really is a testament to them sticking with the program and working hard in the offseason.”
Follow Steven Bassin on Twitter @SBassin_Sports