NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - On a hot and humid Monday afternoon, the New Providence Lady Pioneers defeated the Union Catholic Vikings 7-3 in a high school softball matchup. From the early goings it looked as if it was going to be a defensive struggle; however, a late offensive rally from the Lady Pioneers proved to be the decision-maker. Nicole Saitta started the game for the Pioneers and was opposed by freshman Colleen Dow.
The Vikings struck first, scoring two runs in the first inning with solid hitting from the top of the line-up. Dow seemed to be unhittable through the first several innings. Only New Providence's Mellissa Velez had an answer for Union Catholic's ferocious defense. She had New Providence's lone RBI through the first fiving innings.
Both teams added runs to their scores in the fifth inning and, through six, the score was 4-3 in favor of Union Catholic. Based on the way Dow was pitching it looked as if Union Catholic would be able to escape New Providence with a win in the seventh inning. However, after New Providences loaded the bases, Junior Michelle Ciarrocca hit a walk off grand slam to win the game.
"I was just going into the plate appearance hoping to make contact with the ball to give our girls a chance to make it home," Ciarrocca exclaimed. "I had no idea it was going to go as far as it did." New Providence improved to 11-7 and Union Catholic fell to 15-6 on the season.
"This win was really important for our girls, we needed to bounce back big after the tough loss on Friday," said Coach Villa. Although the Pioneers were eliminated from the playoffs on Friday, the Vikings are still in the hunt. They will take on Mother Seton on Tuesday.