SPARTA, NJ – The room was full for the Sparta Township Council meeting on Tuesday night as the Sparta Diamonds 10U softball team was present with their families to receive a proclamation from Mayor Gil Gibbs and the council.
The girls had finished fourth in the nation in 10U Fastpitch Softball, having played in the Babe Ruth World Series in Jensen Beach Florida this summer, Gibbs read. The team put together a season record of 60-5.
The team was awarded the 10U World Series Sportsmanship Award as well.
Individual players received special recognition. Maya Laliker earned the World Series Gold Glove award. Grace Conrad was named the Regional Most Valuable Player and Jocelyn O’Keeffe was the Regional Hit Leader.
Coach Chris Heim and assistant coaches John Duffy, Jason Laliker and Chris Santalucia worked with the team that had seven championships leading to the trip to Florida. Their journey to the World series began as they won the Northwest Softball League with an undefeated season, swept the New Jersey State and Mid Atlantic Regional Championships with an undefeated record of 9-0. From there they went on to defeat the state champions from Maryland, New Hampshire, Delaware and South Jersey.
The girls also won tournaments including; Montville Michelle Fund, Rockaway Memorial Day, West Milford Xtreme and Sparta’s School’s Out Tournament.
The team took advantage of strong pitching from Grace Conrad with 29 wins, 365 strikeouts and 2.77 ERA and Gabrielle Heim with 23 wins, 245 strikeouts and 1.30 ERA according to Coach Heim.
According to the Coach Heim, other hit leaders and key contributors included:
- Gabrielle Heim with a .548 batting average and 72 RBIs
- Alexa Berry with a .544 batting average and 73 RBIs
- Grace Conrad with a .388 batting average and 64 RBIs
- Lauren Duffy with a .354 batting average and 46 stolen bases
- Jocelyn O’Keeffe with a .352 batting average and 30 stolen bases
- Maya Laliker with a .341 batting average and 34 RBIs
- Briana Santalucia with a .336 batting average and 23 stolen bases
- Ava Daggett with .435 on base percentage
- Molly Chapman with 22 RBIs and 3.83 ERA
- Sofia Valente with a .270 batting average and seven wins
- Alexis Arpino with 20 RBIs and 48 put outs
- Kaitlyn Sweetman with a .278 batting average and 36 RBIs
Several players were added to the roster for the World Series run according to Coach Heim. Carly List contributed with a double, Jacqueline Edelman went 3-for-7 with a .429 batting average and three RBIs and Alexia Hill added “blazing speed” to the team’s arsenal.
The team is a part of the Sparta Diamond Girls Softball program. They have teams at all levels of play and all seasons as well. http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=spartasoftball