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Morris County teams gear up for Tuesday tournament

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PostWysłany: Nie 23:35, 15 Gru 2013    Temat postu: Morris County teams gear up for Tuesday tournament

Morris County teams gear up for Tuesday tournament games
Andrew Miller/For The StarLedgerMorris Knolls made several key defensive plays during its 10 victory over Livingston last week in the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4 quarterfinals. In this play, Morris Knolls shortstop Tori Clarke, left, tags out Livingston's Alex Bell, who was thrown out by catcher Angela Maioran attempting to steal in the fifth inning of what was still a scoreless game.
The leader, of course, is Pequannock, 2201 and ranked No. 1 in The StarLedger Top 20. in the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 semifinals. The Morris County Tournamentwinning Golden Panthers have won 19 straight (15 by shutout) since a 00 tie against No. 2 St. John Vianney in a game called because of darkness after eight innings on April 9. Pequannock has also outscored its opponents, 1807. The team has come to bat facing a deficit just six times this season, and it happened at two different points in the same game a 32 triumph over Chatham on May 2, when Ally Thomas hit a tworun home run with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. Junior righthander Dana Nielsen is also averaging over a dozen strikeouts per game.
Morris Knolls, 233 and ranked 10th in the Top 20, is home to Ridgewood (187) in the Section 1, Group 4 semifinals. When Morris Knolls captured the Group 4 state title last season, its final four victories were all by onerun margins. The Golden Eagles got a head start in that regard last Thursday by defeating Livingston, 10, in the quarterfinal round. Junior shortstop Tori Clarke, who I think is one the most clutch players in Morris County, hit an RBI double in the fifth inning in support of winning pitcher Caitlin O'Connor. The key to the victory, however, may have been the defensive effort by the Golden Eagles. Center fielder Elaine Hua made several fine catches in the outfield, third baseman Whitney Ellenberg snagged two poppedup bunts with runners on first and catcher Angela Maioran also made a diving play to catch a poppedup sacrifice bunt attempt with a runner on first. Maioran also threw out a runner attempting to steal.
Here's a look at the other Morris teams still alive in the tournament:
Whippany Park (193) is home to Secaucus (207) in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1 semifinals. When people think of Morris teams which could be playing for a state title on June 11 in Toms River, Pequannock and Morris Knolls are the ones that generally come to mind. But no one should discount Whippany Park, which averages 8.4 runs per game with a deep lineup and has the benefit of two capable pitchers, Casey Reggiani and Jenn Sanislo.
West Morris (167) plays host to Colonia (1313) in a North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 semifinal. The ninthseeded Wolfpack won twice on the road last week, taking out eighthseeded Cranford, 60, and topseeded Nutley (which was also ranked 10th in The StarLedger Top 20), 73. Now it plays at home against a team that last week won at fourthseeded Barringer, 170, and fifthseeded Iselin Kennedy, 10.
This is the fourth year at the helm for West Morris coach Courtney Bertos,[url=]asics singapore[/url], and the team has improved its record in each season. West Morris is also playing in the sectional semifinals for the first time since 2002, when it won the sectional title (losing to Pascack Valley in the state semifinals) and finished 216. West Morris has also been bolstered lately by the return of second baseman Danielle Pellerin. She broke her thumb after being hit by a pitch against Roxbury on April 15. She then missed 15 games before returning for a 42 victory over Columbia on May 23.
Villa Walsh (136) begins play in the North Jersey, NonPublic B tournament with a quarterfinal home game in Morris Township against Newark Academy (815). Grace Edelson and Emma Madarasz have had excellent seasons with their bats for coach Rudy Simek's team. Would it be a surprise to see Villa Walsh playing for a state championship on June 11? Absolutely not.
Roxbury (1410), seeded 12th, is at ninthseeded Montclair (188) in a Section 1, Group 4 semifinal. This looks like a tossup game. Roxbury has won five of its last six, steered by lefty pitcher Ashtin Helmer and a lineup that includes offensive weapons such as Helmer, Holly Arentowicz, Katelyn Milling and Dana Brady. It will also be interesting to see if softball Super Fan Ed Bates attends this game featuring his hometown team or returns to Morris Knolls, where he supported the Golden Eagles in their victory last Thursday over Livingston.
Morris Catholic (1010) plays at St. Mary's (Ruth.) (178) in the 5 vs. 4 game in the North Jersey, NonPublic B bracket. This is a very winnable game for the Crusaders. Two of the main resasons: senior pitcher Jeane Drury is throwing well of late for Morris Catholic. Also, the Crusaders have spent the entire month of May alternating wins and losses (through 10 games in all). appears due for a win.
Chatham, 195 with three of its losses against Pequannock, is one of the best Morris teams still standing, but it also has won of the most difficult assignments among the bunch on the Tuesday schedule. The Cougars travel to South Plainfield (184) to face a team that's focused on state tournament success after it was an earlyround upset victim in the Greater Middlesex Conference tournament. Junior lefthander Amanda Fazio, like so many other pitchers around the state, showed some signs of fatigue after a hectic schedule over the first half of the month. She looked fine over her final three starts last week, however by allowing seven hits over 20 innings, with 27 strikeouts and two walks, as the Cougars defeated Warren Hills and Somerville in state games on Tuesday and Thursday and then thwarted Morris Catholic in a regularseason makeup on Saturday.
The winners of todays games will be back in action on Friday. The schedule that day features the sectional finals for the public schools and sectional semifinals for the nonpublics.

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