BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ- The Gov. Livingston softball team claimed a thrilling 18-7 victory over the Westfield Blue Devils while honoring its six graduating seniors. Although Westfield scored four runs in the first inning, the Highlanders were able to snatch the momentum with their sensational nine run inning in the third. Gov. Livingston will look to continue to harness this aggressive energy as they face off against Summit in the State Semifinals this Friday.
After four years of hardwork and dedication, this year’s seniors, Jamie Belfer, Marisa Fudenna, Katie Hughes, Alyssa Lombardi, Jenn Murowski, and Aislinn O’Keefe, were celebrated on the field by their parents, teammates, and coaching staff. “It’s really amazing just to look back and see how far my fellow seniors have come,” stated captain Jamie Belfer. “Playing for this team has really been an unforgettable experience, and I’m really going to miss it and all the memories that came with it.”
“We wanted to come out and play our best game for Senior Day,” said senior Katie Hughes. However, the Highlanders got off to a rocky start as the Blue Devils’ bats came alive in the first inning. Westfield quickly scored three runs before Gov. Livingston could even get an out. Although they also struggled offensively in the bottom of the first, Junior Jessica Schmidt reenergized the offense with a single RBI to get the Highlanders on the board.
Gov. Livingston returned to the field in the second inning determined to tighten their defense. The Highlanders forced a 1-2-3 inning and closed Westfield’s lead to only one run by the bottom of the second. However, Gov. Livingston’s offensive force came to fruition in the third inning.
Shortstop Alyssa Lombardi started off the run with a line drive to center field. The Highlanders then went on to have seven consecutive hits. Jamie Belfer, Julia McConekey, Jenn Murowski, and Aislinn O’Keefe contributed doubles while Janey Morbito pitched in a triple. Gov. Livingston’s explosive power behind the plate enabled them to score a total of nine runs in the third inning and claim the lead 12-4.
Even though the Blue Devils were able to muster an offensive resurgence in the fourth by scoring another four runs, the Highlanders resumed their impressive hitting and added on five runs in the fourth. Gov. Livingston then held Westfield in the remaining 2 innings to defeat Westfield with a final score of 17-8.
Gov. Livingston (15-8) will face Summit (18-7) in the NJSIAA Sectional Semifinals this Friday on their home field at 4 pm.
Photo credits: Stephen O'Keefe