New Providence Pioneers defeat Watchung Warriors 1-0 in a Pitcher’s Duel

BRANCHBURG, NJ – This past Sunday afternoon, the New Providence 10U Softball team defeated Watchung in a pitcher’s duel to win the Central Jersey FastPitch Softball League championship.  Sofia Espalliat pitched six innings and recorded eleven strike-outs for the Pioneers in shutting down the Warriors offense.

New Providence’s only run of the game came in the bottom of the third when Haley Kessler beat out a bunt which successfully started the inning’s rally.  Hailey Gaeta moved Kessler to second on a sacrifice.  Kessler, with heads up base running, advanced to third base during the same play. Espalliat then came to the plate and smacked a hard hit ball, just out of the reach of the Warrior First Baseman, allowing Kessler to score from third. 

This would be all the offense the Pioneers needed as their defense was able to hold the lead for the final 3 innings. Watchung did put a scare into the Pioneers in the 4th when the Warriors had runner on the 2nd base with two outs  The Warriors hitter lined a ball to right center when Jaidyn Hom came up firing and got the runner out at 2nd when she tried to stretch a single into a double with a throw to Lila MacNamara.  MacNamara made the tag on the advancing runner putting an end to the Warriors rally.  Head Coach Karen Gaeta stated “We could not be prouder of the girls today, they were amazing!  They understood what it means to be good teammates and lift each other up.”  The win provided New Providence with their first championship in girls softball in the many years.