With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, Lauren Easterday hit the first pitch she saw over the left-field fence for a game-ending grand slam, giving
a dramatic 7-4 victory over
yesterday in the NJSIAA state Group 2 softball semifinals at Lenape.
Sterling rallied to tie the game with three runs in the bottom of the sixth on RBI hits by Alex Carideo, Steph Mastropaolo and Samantha Sundberg, but Carteret (20-5), the Central Jersey champion, took the lead with a run in the seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Silver Knights loaded the bases with no outs on two errors and Megan Applegate's single, setting the stage for Easterday, a senior third baseman who had struck out looking in her three previous plate appearances.
Sterling (25-4) will face Kittatinny, a 2-0 winner over Rutherford, for the state title on Saturday.
State Group 4.
Danielle McDevitt scored on a third-inning fielder's choice and
pitcher Rachael Matreale made the run stand up for a 1-0 win over
in the state semifinals at Northern Burlington.
Matreale threw a no-hitter with six strikeouts, no walks, and one hit batter.
McDevitt, the Braves' No. 9 hitter, who went 3 for 3, singled in the third, went to second on an error, and advanced to third on a sacrifice by Jessica Martinez.
Christen Glutz dropped a bunt single that did not allow McDevitt to score, but Katie Trotter's pop-up to second base was dropped, allowing the run to cross the plate.
Williamstown advanced to the state final against Ridgewood, an 8-7 winner over North Hunterdon.
State Group 3.
Jamie Minix scattered five hits and struck out five
batters to carry
to a 1-0 state semifinal win at Rancocas Valley.
The Dragons got the lone run in the second inning and advanced to the state final against Kennedy-Iselin, which beat Mount Olive, 1-0.
South Jersey Non-Public B.
(24-2), which had not lost since April 19, managed just one hit by Morgan Earling and dropped a 1-0 verdict in 10 innings to
in the sectional final at Ocean County College.