LIVINGSTON, NJ — Following the Essex County Tournament that earned Livingston High School varsity softball coach Jason Daily his 300th victory, the Livingston Lancers defeated second-seeded Kearny, 8-3, in the North Jersey Group 4, Section 1 state sectional quarterfinals on May 25.
The victory advanced Livingston, the No. 7 seed, to the North Jersey Group 4, Section 1 state sectional semifinals against North Bergen on Tuesday, May 31.
“We’re fortunate enough to play in a very difficult Super Essex Conference division and I believe that helps us play any team in the state,” said Daily. “So when it gets to State Sectionals, Livingston feels that they’ll be ready for any quality opponent, no matter what their record.”
On Wednesday at Kearny, the Lancers scored five runs at the top of the third inning, keyed by Livingston senior Ally Royce, who had a bases-loaded, two-run double. Kate Sheehan, another standout on Wednesday, hit an RBI single in the inning as well.
Daily, who earned his 300th win as head coach on May 14 against Newark Academy, also took a moment to acknowledged the hard work of seniors Ally Royce, Allie Beinhacker, Nina Petrillo, Sydney McCormack, Blake Saperstein and Julia Viggiano because every game could be their last.
“All six seniors have been amazing athletes for their four-year career,” said Daily. “We talk about this in practice quite often, that we never want it to be the last practice—we want to always keep pushing forward.”
Now that the Lancers have defeated the No. 2 seed, they are looking forward to Tuesday’s semifinals and hope to continue their winning streak.
“We always say it’s an honor to be able to practice on Memorial Day Weekend because you know you’ve reached the bigger part of the state tournament,” said Daily.