SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J. – Katherine Vill is at it again.
In a 6-0 victory in the First Round of 2016 NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2 Group 3 Softball Tournament, Vill and the South Plainfield High School Lady Tigers topped Ferris High School in overpowering fashion Monday afternoon in South Plainfield.
Vill tossed her first no-hitter of the season for the fourth-seeded Tigers, blanking the 13th-seeded Bulldogs with nine strikeouts and allowing only one walk. The junior improved her impressive record to 19-4 on the season. But if it wasn’t for the one walk, which was to the first batter of the game, she would have had a perfect game.
To go along with the shutout, the Tigers racked up 11 hits on offense. Vill helped her cause and picked up three singles in four tries, while classmate Caity Hughes also went 3-for-4 with two one-baggers and a triple. She also scored two of the six runs. Hughes now has at least one hit in nine of the past 11 games and is near the top of the list of state leaders in hits with 46 on the season.
In addition, catcher Camryn Schaeffer and outfielder Jennifer Grasso each picked up two hits for South Plainfield, while senior shortstop Meghan Hughes had two sacrifice flies for two RBIs.
“They had some timely hitting,” Tigers head coach Don Panzarella said after the game of his players. “Caity hit the ball hard today. (Schaeffer) hit the ball well today and those two girls really hit well.”
South Plainfield jumped on the scoreboard with a run in the bottom of the first and scored two in the second to go up 3-0. They also added some insurance in the fifth (two runs) and sixth (one run).
With the victory, the Lady Tigers improve their remarkable record to 22-4 while Ferris falls to 10-13. South Plainfield moves on to face the winner of No. 5 Chatham and No. 12 Somerville on Wednesday.
That game will be in South Plainfield.
“With a good defense and good pitching, I think we’re going to hang in a lot of games,” Panzarella said. “I just hope we get the timely hitting.”
In addition to their quarterfinals matchup on Wednesday, no matter what happens in that game, the Tigers will play in the semifinals of Greater Middlesex County Tournament on Saturday morning at Middlesex County College. South Plainfield, the No. 1 seed in the GMCT, will face No. 5 East Brunswick at 11 a.m.
You can follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisWasky for updates on the SPHS Softball team and more.