Hackettstown has completed a historic softball season. After senior ace Nicole Carter pitched three do-or-die complete-game shutouts to get the Tigers to the final in North Jersey Section 2 Group 2, the unsinkable Molly O’Brien belted a two-run homer in extra innings to highlight a 5-2 win over top seeded Hanover Park to clinch the program’s first sectional championship in softball.
The Tigers’ magic carpet ride ended on June 2 with a 12-2 mercy rule shortened loss in the state semifinal to Section 1 champion Ramsey.
In the 10th inning of the Hanover Park game, as the visiting team, the Tigers kept batting after O’Brien’s homer gave them a 4-2 lead. Alivia Duran drove in an add-on run (you never know how many of those you will need) with a single.
Carter pitched all 10 innings, dealing a six-hitter with seven strikeouts and three walks. Duran, Hunter Ruppel, Cheyenne Scudder (two stolen bases and two runs scored) and Carly Curcio all had two-hit games at the plate for the Tigers, who concentrated on bunting and contact hitting to keep the line moving all season under the direction of head coach Christina Sykora.
“We didn’t think this would be a five-inning game,” said Ramsey coach Chris Caserta, after the state semifinal. “We have a lot of respect for Hackettstown, their program has been on a tremendous run and has been playing so well.” Ramsey pitcher Victoria Sebastian was a one-player wrecking crew. She gave up two first inning runs to the Tigers, but settled down and allowed only one hit the rest of the way. Offensively, she led the Rams with four hits, including a three-run homer among her six runs batted in.
TRACK AND FIELD
In track and field, Warren Hills sophomore Alexa Westley, Warren Hills senior Brian Spolarich, and Hackettstown senior Nathan Anzel have qualified for the New Jersey Meet of Champions, to be held Saturday, June 10, at Central Regional High School in Bayville.
Westley lowered her school record by 11 seconds while finishing second in the 3,200 meter run for Group 3, in 10:36.8 minutes. Spolarich finished fourth in the 3,200 meter for Group 3 in 9:17.10, his personal best. Anzel was fifth in the 220 sprint for Group 2 in 22.61 seconds.
Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.