CEDAR GROVE, NJ - This season alone, she's struck out 137 batters, thrown eight shutouts and six no hitters.  Mia Faita has started off her senior season with a bang and is the Allstate Cedar Grove Athlete of the Week.  The Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Shelby Mobley, Allstate Insurance Agent, 471 Pompton Ave., Cedar Grove. 

"It’s crazy how fast the time has flown by.  Every game I think about how fast it’s going.  My coach always said how the seniors don’t get this back and I now this year I understand what she meant," Faieta said.  "I've had  my last first game of the season and it will be my last county and my last state tournament."

"Mia is very deserving of athlete of the week," said Head Coach Nikki Velardi.  "In 8 games played she has only given up five hits out of 218 batters faced, has 123 strike outs and eight wins no losses and her ERA is .269.  The opponents batting average against her is .032."

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Currently sitting at the top of their conference with a 11-1 record, the Panthers are off to a good start and Faieta is pleased with the overall performance.

"I think the season has been going great so far.  We’re meeting our expectations as a team, even exceeding them," she stated. "We lost a lot of players last year, but I feel like we’ve all come together and gotten into a groove and fed off of that energy so far."

One of the keys to the season's successful start according to Faieta has been a strong offensive showing from most of the team.

"Our bats have really come alive this year.  It’s something we’ve struggled with in the past, but we’re really scoring a ton of runs this year and everyone has really stepped up and delivered some timely hits," Faieta noted.  "I also think we’ve played solid defense."

When a team has had the success, they often have a bullseye on their back and that is definitely the case with the Panthers.  

"The hardest thing is overcoming the adversity that other teams bring," Faieta explained.  "Everyone wants to beat us and we have to ignore that and just focus and play as a team."

So far this season, the game against Mount St. Dominic stands out for Faieta given the long standing rivarly between the two teams.  

"I think Mount St. Dominic was the best game so far.  We have a rivalry of sorts and last year we won one and lost one.  We beat them this year and we want to win our league and beating the Mount is part of that so I think that was our biggest win so far and we’re still first in the league," Faieta added.

With 939 strikeouts, a true perfect game, numerous no hitters, two sectional titles, a group title and a county title already under her belt, Faieta's softball career will go down in history, no matter how her senior year progresses, but she has big plans for the season regardless.  

"Our goal as a team is to compete and be the very best that we can be.  We want to win counties and I really want to win states. I want that so bad because last year was really a heartbreaker," Faieta said.  "Overall I’m just really enjoying this year.  The team is great. We’ve all really bonded and I think we can be really successful." 

The Cedar Grove Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Shelby Mobley Allstate, 471 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove. 

TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove  is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

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