CLARK, NJ — It has been quite a week for Arthur L. Johnson High School junior softball player Gianna Randazza. On Tuesday, April 5, she recorded her 100th career hit, and on Monday, April 11, she tossed a no-hitter against the Westfield Blue Devils at home.
The final score was 5-0.
Randazza struck out 15 batters in the win, and was perfect through six innings. Eleven of the 15 strikeouts went down swinging.
She also recorded a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth inning to help her team build their lead.
“It wasn’t only me, it was me and my team,” Randazza said. “I couldn’t have done anything without them, and to get a big week started with a win is always good and helpful.”
The big week ahead finds the Crusaders on the road against Linden on Tuesday and Pingry School on Wednesday, then back home to face Governor Livingston on Thursday, and Benedictine Academy on Friday.
Johnson freshmen Bailey Rosenmeier got Johnson’s first hit Monday afternoon with an RBI single that scored freshmen Victoria Zatko.
Zatko got an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it 2-0 Johnson after four innings.
The Crusaders picked up three more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, courtesy of the two-run single from Randazza and an RBI double from senior Stephanie Visconti.
“I think this win humbled us,” Visconti said. “We’ve ten-runned a couple of teams. We’re 6-0, we’ve ten-runned a couple of those teams. This was really a humbling win, and we got some big hits when we needed them, so it was good.”
Westfield freshmen Julia Romano was the only Lady Blue Devil to reach base, on an error at first base to lead off the top of the seventh inning.
“We’re trying to play clean games where we’re doing the little things,” Johnson head coach Mike Mancino said. “We’re making the plays on the field, we’re not walking batters, moving runners ahead with the bunt game, and timely hits. We hit the ball in the nose sometimes where we didn’t actually get rewarded for, but overall, I thought we did a nice job offensively and defensively.”
Despite the loss, Westfield remains optimistic of improving in games to come later on in the season.
“All the credit goes to ALJ. They did exactly what they needed to do today,” Westfield head coach Caitlin MacDonald said. “They got good leadership from the mound. She [Gianna] really kept us off the bases almost the entire game. They put the ball in play, strung a couple of hits together, maintained their composure and really did a good job today.”
“The one thing is that this is our third game of the season, and was by far our best performance,” MacDonald added. “We made one error defensively, which is something we’ve been struggling with. Even though it’s a loss, it’s not hard to find the good stuff in today. I think we did a lot of good things today.”
Monday's game was a make-up from Thursday, April 7, that game postponed by rain.
The Johnson Crusaders (6-0) play Tuesday afternoon on the road at Linden High School at 4:00 p.m.
Westfield (0-3) plays their next game Thursday afternoon at Cranford High School at 4 p.m.