SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The weather at South Plainfield High School’s fields today weren’t exactly perfect softball weather. It was a grey and damp day and the wind was cool enough to make you forget that Spring had begun weeks ago.
Even though the weather was a bit cold and dreary, the offense of the South Plainfield high school softball team could only be described as scorching. The Tigers’ high powered hitting attack helped them defeat White division rival Colonia 11-3, which gave the Tigers a 6-0 mark on the season.
South Plainfield’s offense was on point from the very beginning of the game. Holly DeLair got things started for the Tigers in the bottom of the first inning when singled to knock in two runs. On the next at bat, sophomore Camryn Schaeffer doubled to bring DeLair home.
It was Naomi Nieves who got the biggest hit of the first inning, though. Nieves smacked a two run home run to put the Tigers up 6-0 at the end of the first inning.
“They played super today” said South Plainfield coach Donald Panzarella. “They were very aggressive at the plate, and when they’re aggressive they can put the ball in play and make some plays.”
DeLair ended up getting a home run of her own when she hit a solo shot to lead off the third inning. In four at bats, DeLair notched three runs, four hits, four RBI's, as well as her home run. Senior Caroline Ratti and Junior Meghan Hughes each scored two runs and had a hit apiece.
“Delair, she’s a senior, she stepped up.” said Panzarella. “Naomi had a good game on first base, had a couple of hits. The little freshman out in right field Jennifer Grasso did well. It was pretty much a team effort. We can’t rely on certain kids all the time, it’s got to be a team effort, and I think today we did it.”
Katherine Vill was on the mound for the complete game win for the Tigers. The sophomore pitcher had a slight scare when she was struck in the leg by a line drive hit in the fourth inning. Two at bats later, Vill gave up a three run home run. She managed to shake off the homerun, and gave up no runs in the last three innings.
“Kat played great except for that inning when she got hit with the ball.” said Panzarella. “She had to come back, fought hard and the kid hit a homerun. It wasn’t for that one bad pitch that inning, she wouldn’t have given up anything. She got hurt and that bothered us a little bit, but the team played super and I’m really proud of them.”
The win keeps the Tigers undefeated and gives them a 4-0 mark in the GMC’s White division, which puts them on top of the division. Even though today’s win didn’t come against one of the top mainstays in the division, the team thinks it was an important victory.
“It’s big.” said the Panzarella on the win. “What I said to them was ‘you can’t look and wait for Monroe next week or Bishop Ahr again.’ All these teams can beat you. I mean Woodbridge, two days ago we had a good game. They’re not winning games, but they’re good enough to beat anybody. If you don’t play your best game, any of these teams can beat us. We can’t lose these games because we’ve got to play the Monroes and Bishop Ahrs, and we want to stay up on top.”