Sports

South Plainfield Softball Preview 2017

bb19713d78d52d02fdf6_DSCN1166.JPG
bb19713d78d52d02fdf6_DSCN1166.JPG

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J. -- The South Plainfield High School (SPHS) varsity softball team had an awesome regular season last spring, and will look to duplicate the results -- and then some -- in 2017.

South Plainfield finished 25-6 (15-1 in Greater Middlesex Conference - White Division play) advancing all the way to the GMCT and North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 finals. Head coach Don Panzarella earned his 700th career win on May 14th against North Brunswick and the Lady Tigers held a whopping 19-game winning-streak from April to early May and looked like they couldn’t be stopped.

But, they eventually were, and came up on the losing end of their two championship games, leaving bitter tastes in their mouths. South Plainfield also lost key stalwarts and production both offensively and defensively to graduation in shortstop Meghan Hughes, first baseman Naomi Nieves, leftfielder Kayla Rivera, and designated hitter Nicole Gerardi.

Sign Up for E-News

Hughes flashed the leather with dazzling plays and displayed a strong arm all while batting .339 for her career with 57 RBIs and 119 hits. Nieves showed off her stretching ability while keeping her foot on the bag to help put out runners and Rivera came through in big spots including an over the shoulder snowcone catch near the outfield fence in the seventh inning of the GMCT semifinals to keep the game tied at that point before the Tigers came through in the 10th.

Despite losing the four seniors from a year ago, Panzarella returns the bulk of his roster, including the six other starters from 2016 in senior centerfielder turned shortstop Caity Hughes, senior catcher Camryn Schaeffer, senior pitcher Katherine “Kat” Vill, sophomore third baseman Jillian Holoboski, junior second baseman MaKayla Sosa, and junior right fielder Jennifer Grasso.

“I’m pretty excited. Anytime you got a core group of players coming back I’m pretty excited,” Panzarella said. “With the spots I did lose someone has to fill them and going to be tough.

“But I think we’re pretty solid. In the couple scrimmages we’ve had, we’ve made a few mistakes, but I think we’ll be alright.”

A speedy leadoff hitter, Hughes, who will take her talents to the outfield at Georgian Court University, sprayed 51 hits in 113 official at-bats for a .451 batting average last spring. The multi-sport star registered 41 runs scored, 25 RBIs, eight doubles, seven triples, six home runs, and 12 walks, and stole six bases as well. She’ll utilize her talents and athletic ability by taking over for his sister at shortstop in the infield where she played when she was younger.

“She’s one of my better athletes,” Panzarella said. “She played there a little bit as a kid. Center is a good position too, but you can’t win without a good shortstop. I hate to do it in her last year, but she’s going to do what’s best for the team right now and she’s doing a good job. I’m looking for big things from her.”

In the circle, Vill was as good as anybody in Middlesex County -- and the state -- winning 23 games with a 1.44 ERA. Vill pitched 200.1 innings while allowing only 48 runs (32 earned) and 26 walks. The right-hander struck out 156 batters as a junior, 167 as a sophomore, and 123 as a freshman for 446 so far in her soon-to-be four-year career. She currently holds a 61-16 record. At the plate, Vill mustered a .355 batting average with three home runs, 32 RBIs, and 39 total hits last year.

“It’s awesome,” Panzarella on what it means to have an ace like Vill. “She has three years of experience coming in and the kind of competition and tournaments we played in and she faced over the three years is only better for us.”

Behind the dish, Schaeffer provided a steady presence with 33 hits, 19 RBIs, 11 doubles, two home runs, and a .355 batting average herself. As a freshman, Holoboski racked up 39 hits, 21 RBIs, eight doubles, one home run, and a .388 batting average.

According to Panzarella, senior Angela Sanchez will take over for Rivera in left field and sophomore Catherine DeLair is slated to roam the grass in center field. At first base, a battle lingers on between freshman Cameron Marks and sophomore Rachel Rokicki. Sophomore catcher Julie Davis is fighting for the designated hitter spot as well.

With the additions of the young talent and all the firepower that is back, the goals remain the same for Panzarella’s squad.

“We definitely want to win the GMC-White Division,” said Panzarella, who is third in the state with 706 career wins. “The majority of our games will be played within the white division and it’s a good division. So our goal is to win that again and then we want to be in that county final again. There’s no reason we can’t be back in the county and sectional again this year.

“But, you gotta do everything right. You need a break here and there. We have a bunch of kids back and as long as the young players mold into the spots and do a good job I think we’ll be fine.”

South Plainfield gets things going April 3 at North Brunswick at 3:45 p.m.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week Christopher Shine Baseball

The South Plainfield High School baseball team is continuing to have a successful 2018 season with a record of 15-9. This past week, the Tigers went 4-0 beating out of conference foes North Hunterdon, Montgomery, and Bernards.  They finished the week with a win in the first round of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament, over Carteret.   A major contributor to South ...

The Athlete of the Week: Jillian Holoboski Softball Pitcher

The South Plainfield Softball Team had an exciting week of action where the team saw Coach Panzarella break the all-time win total in NJ. The Lady Tigers got things rolling by defeating John F. Kennedy 3-2 on Monday.  South Plainfield then traveled to Perth Amboy for a night double header and crushed the Panthers 14-0.  On Wednesday they beat Colonia 5-1. The competition for the week ...

Holy Savior Academy Presents ‘The Sound of Music,’ Eighth Graders Inducted into Thespian Society 

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Holy Savior Academy's Drama Club performed 'Getting to Know: The Sound of Music' on May 3 and May 4. 

Holy Savior Academy's Drama Club just finished its fourth year and has performed six shows. The Drama Club is run under the direction of Susan Loughlin, Daneile Micale and Eva Tripodi. This year’s production, which featured a cast ...

Obituaries

Mario Guido Abbruzzese, 70, died on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at St. Peter’s University ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Recreation Commission President Responds to Council Candidate Keefe

May 18, 2018

My name is Bill Cochrane and I am President of the South Plainfield Recreation Commission. A press release from Borough Council Candidate Kristine Keefe has recently come to our attention. In her press release Ms. Keefe states and I quote “Over the last eight years virtually nothing has been done to improve our parks and recreation program.” When this was brought to our attention at ...

Colin Berry and Cody Decker Earn Bachelor Degrees from Rowan University

May 18, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Colin Berry and Cody Decker, both of South Plainfield, received Bachelor degrees from Rowan University last week during commencement exercises.  Both young men are 2014 graduates of South Plainfield High School.  

 

Berry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing and was awarded to the Deans List for the fifth time.  He served as ...

Community Happenings

JOHN E. RILEY’S 1ST ANNUAL FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL

May 12, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - On Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 11AM to 5PM, the John E. Riley PTSO (JER PTSO) will be hosting its first ever Food Truck Festival!

 

Come out for a good time while supporting a good cause! Proceeds from this event will go to replacing the 2 broken playground structures at John E. Riley Elementary School costing approximately $80,000. 11+ food trucks including ...

Holy Savior Academy to Hold 7th Annual 5K Run & Family Walk in June

May 12, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Calling all runners and walkers! Holy Savior Academy will hold its 7th Annual 5K Run and 1 Mile Family Walk on Saturday, June 2. Proceeds from this year’s family-friendly event will benefit the school’s academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs.

“Holy Savior Academy’s annual 5K offers the school an opportunity to provide other ...

The South Plainfield "Autism Awareness" Event

May 8, 2018

The South Plainfield Mayor’s Wellness Committee and the South Plainfield Public Library in conjunction with community volunteers hosted the Borough’s first Autism Awareness event at the South Plainfield Public Library on Sunday April 29, 2018 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. This “Afternoon of Awareness” was designed to help connect parents with important resources in order to help ...

Plainfield Animal Hospital

On Friday, April 20th, 2018, a South Plainfield resident responded to South Plainfield Police Department to report a fraudulent incident which occurred at Plainfield Animal Hospital, located at 2201 Park Ave, South Plainfield, NJ.  According to the victim, on April 4th, 2018, she and her husband brought their   family pet rabbit to the animal hospital to be euthanized due to the ...

Staying Fit at the Senior Center

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Staying fit and getting plenty of good exercise is a high priority at the South Plainfield Senior Center, located at 90 Maple Avenue in South Plainfield. Classes on health issues and a wide range of physical exercise are available almost daily.

The Walking Group meets every Friday, weather permitting, starting on May 18 and going through October. Participants meet at the ...

Columns

Diegnan & Ruiz Bill to Establish Grant Program to Develop Dual Language Immersion Programs Advances

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. and Senate Education Chair M. Teresa Ruiz to establish a grant program for school districts and charter schools to develop dual language immersion programs was released from the Senate Education Committee today.

 

“The best way for a student to excel in a foreign language is an immersion program,” said ...

South Plainfield Motor Vehicle Office Tentatively Scheduled to Open May 21st

Dear Mayor:

I would like to provide you with an update regarding the Motor Vehicle Commission’s (MVC) new, modernized South Plainfield Agency.  At this juncture, if we receive the Certificate of Occupancy on Friday, May 11, as expected, the anticipated “soft opening” to the public will be Monday, May 21, 2018. 

We will schedule a ceremonial ribbon cutting shortly ...

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

Bookmarks

And here is (ACHOO!!) some more (ACHOO!!) news from (COUGH!!) South Plainfield Library:

            First, our previously-postponed Holi program, celebrating the Indian festival of colors, has been postponed again.  Due to predicted inclement weather, it has been rescheduled to Saturday, July 21st, from 11AM to 1PM.  Let’s ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.

 

Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

Suburban Woman’s Club Welcomes You

The Suburban Woman’s Club of South Plainfield is welcoming new members. Enjoy creative fund raisers, interesting activities while participating on standing committees, informative monthly programs, and the camaraderie of women whose efforts enhance the community. The club meets at 1:00 PM on the first Thursday of each month, September through June, at the American ...

Suburban Woman’s Club Has A Successful Fundraising Year!

After what can easily be described as a successful fund-raising year, The Suburban Woman’s Club of South Plainfield met on May 3rd at the American Legion Hall in South Plainfield to decide how to allocate the funds that were raised.  President Diana Cotone called the meeting to order and thanked April Bengivenga and Joyce Dieterle for the delicious refreshments provided.

The ...

Press Releases

Rotary Club to Hold 91st Annual Track and Field Meet

May 15, 2018

North Plainfield, NJ -The oldest service club of the three Plainfield's will hold their most important annual community service project on June 6 at the Hub Stine Athletic Complex in Plainfield.

Long a mainstay in supporting the North Plainfield and Plainfield communities, the Rotary Club of Plainfield-North Plainfield will offer an afternoon of friendly but determined competition to young ...