Sports

South Plainfield Lady Tigers Punch Ticket to GMC Finals with Extra Inning Win over East Brunswick

fbf219827f769443281f_IMG952552.jpg
b0e47896f6360b89c9e8_IMG952559.jpg
c8e47c3a4161ca3ba632_IMG952554.jpg
178d1f4089bbe8c9171e_IMG952555.jpg
a5e407fc2c6c8bada4b9_IMG952558.jpg
ab58561caa5fe9e0fc4c_IMG952560.jpg
119bb3a9c7892b8eda0f_IMG952550.jpg
ad9e3c99b08d22829e2d_IMG952551.jpg
6d3c1f40b33ead8c8982_IMG952553.jpg
b17033f5165e01e8df46_IMG952556.jpg
fbf219827f769443281f_IMG952552.jpg

EDISON, N.J. - In the first semifinals matchup of the Greater Middlesex County Tournament, the South Plainfield High School varsity Tigers softball team edged out the Bears of East Brunswick 4-3 in 10 innings on Saturday morning at Middlesex County College in Edison under hot and sunny conditions.

South Plainfield’s Meghan Hughes’ walk-off RBI-single to left field in the bottom of the 10th scored Makayla Sosa from third after Sosa started the inning at second base due to the International Tiebreaker rule (ITB) to help speed up the game starting in the 10th frame. Hughes’ sister, Caity Hughes, moved Sosa over to third after she reached on a blooper to the outfield.

“It’s awesome because I’ve been struggling the past four games,” Meghan Hughes said after the game regarding her game-winning hit that sent the top-seeded Tigers to the GMC finals on Monday morning weather permitting. “I haven’t been hitting as much as I want, so it felt really good for me.

Sign Up for E-News

“I just knew I had to hit it, because we had one of our fastest players (on third) Makayla Sosa, so I knew I just had to get it out of the infield to score.”

South Plainfield was cruising, leading 3-0 heading into the top of the sixth with two left to play. But, the fifth-seeded Bears tied the game with a moon blast home run over the fence in left. Megan Kelliher’s three-run shot off one of the best pitchers in the GMC, Katherine Vill, gave life to East Brunswick. Kelliher finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two intentional walks.

“Kat pitched a great game,” South Plainfield head coach Don Panzarella said after the game. “Who would have thought that girl would hit the ball 235 feet. There are two outs in the sixth (at the time of the home run), and it just changed the momentum. I felt bad because the game should have ended up 3-0 at that point. We felt like we were in control. We didn’t quit though. We came back and found a way to win.”

In the top of the seventh, East Brunswick threatened again to score, but Tigers’ left fielder Kayla Rivera ran down a deep fly ball and made a snow cone grab close to the 225-foot fence down the line. The game remained knotted at three, even after East Brunswick couldn’t capitalize on their chance to score with the ITB rule in affect in the top of the 10th.

“She battles. She goes out, stops that line drive and keeps it in front of her and that catch was unbelievable,” Panzarella said of Rivera’s spectacular catch and overall defense. “That’s a big play. This time of year you have to make those plays and whoever makes those plays are going to win these big games. Right now, I’m proud of these kids”

Vill (22-4) pitched all 10 innings for the win giving up 11 hits and two walks, while striking out eight. Vill and Panzarella said her curveball was on which kept the Bears off-balance, and pitched away from the hitters to help neutralize a strong lineup. But even with allowing 11 hits, the only major damage was the one pitch that went into the woods.

“They’re a good hitting team one through nine,” Panzarella said of East Brunswick. “They’re strong kids and they play the game hard and they’re a great team. We beat a great team today.”

South Plainfield jumped on the board with three runs in the bottom of the first inning, as three errors by the Bears helped Caity Hughes, Jillian Holoboski, and Vill score.

As East Brunswick committed a total of five errors for the game, including a critical one in the bottom of the 10th, South Plainfield made only one mistake. In this one, pitching and defense were the difference makers.

“Super all year, they’re steady,” Panzarella said when describing his fielders and team’s defense. “They do what they’re supposed to do. You’ve got a (freshman) at third Holoboski, Meghan’s a senior shortstop so we expect for her to be good. (There’s a) sophomore at second, Naomi’s a senior (at first). There’s some senior leadership with the young kids and that’s been a great blend. Caity in center is fast and covers a lot of ground. Grasso is as steady as can be out there (in right field). Nobody looks at her as anything. But she’s got 35 put outs this year. I think the defense keeps us in the game. There are games we hit, but as a team…defense and pitching have been our strong points.”

Defense and pitching have carried the Tigers up to this point. They were crowned the GMC-White Division champs during the regular season with a 15-1 league record. They have an opportunity to play in the semifinals in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 Tournament on Tuesday against highly-ranked Middletown North. And, they play in the GMCT finals on Monday against sixth-seeded South Brunswick.

South Plainfield might not always hit even when they have the talent, but the stout defense and gutsy pitching by Vill and even Holoboski have gotten them this far with some timely offense. And as the saying goes, defense wins championships.

The Tigers will have a chance to do just that on Monday back at Middlesex County College, and could even win their sectional state tournament and beyond.

For updates on the South Plainfield softball team, follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisWasky.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week Samantha Pullen Girls’ Spring Track

The South Plainfield High School Girls’ track team is off to another great start in the 2018 season.  Their record currently stands at 3-0. This past week, the Lady Tigers defeated divisional rivals Metuchen and Middlesex by the scores of 80-56 and 75-56.  They then went on to dominate Bishop Ahr by a score of 112-24.  Much of the Lady Tigers success has been due to the ...

The Athlete of the Week Tatianna Sutor Girls’ Lacrosse

The South Plainfield High School Girls’ Lacrosse team is off to a fantastic start to their 2018 season with a record of 2-0. This past week, the Lady Tigers crushed division rival Bishop Ahr by the score of 14-2, and then went on to beat Boonton 6-3.  A huge part of the success for South Plainfield has been due in a large part to the contributions of senior goalie Tatianna ...

Obituaries

Victor Kochmann, 92, passed away on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 surrounded by his loving family in ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Letter Welcoming Mike Zushma to Politics

April 19, 2018

Dear Editor, 

I'd like to welcome Mike Zushma to the world of politics and congratulate him on being selected as the town's Democratic Chairman.

 

I've served as Republican chair since 2009, and I've always enjoyed spending my time helping good people get elected to office.  In South Plainfield, it's never about party:  People work together and try ...

Community Happenings

South Plainfield High School Hall Of Fame Is Seeking Nominees

April 19, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The South Plainfield High School Hall of Fame Committee is again holding their search for candidates for induction into the SPHS Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame was established at South Plainfield High School to recognize outstanding graduates as leaders in their fields who could serve as role models for current and future students.

Candidates will be evaluated on ...

Kennedy School Welcomes Author Lisa Mullarkey

April 19, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Teacher and children’s author Lisa Mullarkey stopped by John F. Kennedy Elementary School on April 18. 

“This year’s guest author was very well received by our students and staff. Mrs. Mullarkey spent the day motivating our students to be future writers," said Kennedy Principal Kevin Hajduk. "It was a privilege for our students at ...

Holy Savior Academy to Hold Open House on April 24

April 18, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Holy Savior Academy, an AdvancedED accredited Middlebrook Deanery Catholic School located in South Plainfield, will hold an open house the evening of Tuesday, April 24.At this time, prospective students and their families in pre-K3 through 8th grade will have the opportunity to tour the school, meet teachers and register. 

“Holy Savior ...

Elks Lodge #2298 Hosted Princess Breakfast

April 19, 2018

The South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 Youth Activities Committee recently hosted a Princess breakfast, in conjunction with the South Plainfield Summer Drama Workshop.   On the menu we featured only the BEST breakfast in town.  Our lil princesses were able to come down to have their pictures taken with their favorite Disney characters. 

The South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 ...

Part Time Position in Municipal Court

The South Plainfield Borough is seeking to hire a part time person with strong customer service skills to perform detailed Municipal Court clerical work.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Answering telephone and walk in inquiries, data entry, maintaining files and records for accuracy, processing payments, related duties as required.

Successful candidates should process ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_bbe5d2f368f320d67fab_img_3263

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

South Plainfield

Open House 312 Elissa Court South Plainfield

Real Estate

Carousel_image_6fa66652e238649d073e_suburban_woman_s_club

Sun, April 22, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

Suburban Woman's Club Luncheon/Fashion Show April ...

Carousel_image_bad097ae8b2fe018094c_mayors_wellness

Sat, April 28, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

Spring Wellness Health Fair - Mayor's Wellness

Carousel_image_5cb3a344be063f4eef87_hf_2018_updated-page-001

Sat, April 28, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

South Plainfield's Annual Health and Fitness Fair

Carousel_image_540ba92b7ee7d0a56fba_elvis_tribute_final

Sat, April 28, 7:00 PM

South Plainfield

A Tribute to our Veterans - Jim Barone

Carousel_image_7869a9df10fb5a82bf59_autismawareness18-page-001

Sun, April 29, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

Autism Awareness Event on April 29th

Columns

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)

 

How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

Bookmarks

Your library is a hub of education and entertainment that is available to you not just when the library is open, but at all hours, thanks to our great online resources.  

If you want to brush up on your computer skills, or learn something new, try Learning Express.  You can access it through the library’s website. Once you’ve registered (you’ll need ...

Suburban Woman’s Club Hears Presentation on WWII Air Force Service Pilots

During World War II, one thousand seventy-four aviators, all with prior experience and airman certificates, flew over 60 million miles; transported every type of military aircraft; towed targets for live anti-aircraft gun practice; simulated strafing missions and transported cargo. Thirty-eight members of this elite group lost their lives and one went missing in performing their ...

Press Releases

OLOVEE will be at Menlo Park Mall

April 20, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - OLOVEE  is a unique company that offers trendy products and donates back to four causes in the community. OLOVEE will be at Menlo Park Mall on Saturday April 21st for a “Health & Wellness “ Expo.  During this campaign, OLOVEE will donate $4 per product to the color and cause of your choice.  A same day discount of 25% will be ...