EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. --- The future looks bright for South Plainfield softball.
Wednesday, the South Plainfield Middle School softball won its final game of the season, 6-4, over East Brunswick on the road.
The Tigers went 19-0 this spring and scored a whopping and incredible 218 runs while conceding only 27 -- an impressive feat no matter the level of play.
The team roster included Isabelle Barbara, Madeline Barry, Maria Callanan, Grace Capparelli, Grace Colucci, Jessica Cooper, Juliana Donaruma, Bridget Feeney, Paige Fego, Hailey Fonti, Kelsey Geurts, Alex Gibson, Alyna Hosein, Sara McNelly, Madison O'Brien, Lindsay Oller, Sara Orlowski, Natalie Rivera, Gabriella Santamaria, Alexandra Sacco, Kendall Serido, Nicole Sikora, and Brielle Stolz.
"The girls are very talented," South Plainfield coach Alyson Oller said. “"They are friendly girls who work well together as a team. They are solid hitters and the team meshes well together."
In the season finale, the Tigers had to come back from two, two-run deficits.
Trailing 2-0 after the second inning, Colucci singled, stole both second and third base, and later came around to score.
East Brunswick, however, ame back with another run in the fourth to give the Bears a 3-1 lead.
With just three innings to go, the perfect season was starting to slip away. But, the Tigers came through in the sixth inning, which proved to be the turning point.
Feeney smacked a double and then scored on a Capparelli triple. Later in the inning, McNelly then hit a line drive to left field for another triple to drive in a couple more runs and just like that, South Plainfield led comfortably, 6-3.
East Brunswick was able to score one more run in the bottom of the seventh, but Hosein corralled a ground ball and threw to first base for the final.
Among the 23 players, 12 of them are eighth graders who will move on to the high school ranks next year. That bodes well for the SPHS varsity softball coach, Don Panzarella, the state’s all-time leader in wins.
"We have twelve graduating eighth graders this year. They have tremendous potential for playing in high school,” Oller said. “I'm very proud of the entire team."
Patti Trenchak contributed to this article. All photo credits - Patti Trenchak Feeney