TOMS RIVER - One hit, one walk, one error.
That's how close Katie Trotter was to a perfect game.
Trotter fired a one-hitter and retired the final 14 batters in order as Williamstown won its second consecutive Group 4 softball state title yesterday with a 3-0 victory over Union at Toms River East.
Trotter, a senior, struck out five and made six assists as Williamstown became the first softball team from South Jersey to win back-to-back state titles since Gloucester in 2000 and 2001.
"To repeat in any sport is huge," Trotter said. "To be able to go out on top senior year, it's pretty cool."
Junior shortstop Briana Molino snapped a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, and junior second baseman Justine Mattia added a two-run single later in the inning for Wiliamstown (22-2).
"I was looking to get a hit," Molino said. "Then Justine got that other hit, and that gave us a lot of relief."
Amanda Martinez started Williamstown's three-run rally with a walk. Danielle McDevitt dropped a sacrifice bunt, beating the throw to first for a single.
Trotter moved up both runners with a groundout, and Molino followed with her second hit of the game, a line single to left field that scored Martinez.
"I don't think teams in state-title games really know each other," Williamstown coach Fred Powell said of Union's decision not to walk Molino with first base open. "They know Briana now."
After a strikeout, Mattia gave the Braves some breathing room with a single to right field that scored McDevitt and Molino.
"Justine is an underrated player, but she always comes through for us," Trotter said.
The Braves backed Trotter's pitching with near-flawless defense. Mattia made the play of the game in the third inning with a diving, backhanded stop and throw from her knees for the third out with a runner on second.
"If that gets through and they go up 1-0, it's a different game," Powell said.
Mattia said that with a runner on second base, she knew she needed to stop the ball from reaching the outfield.
"I knew I had to stop it," Mattia said. "If I didn't get it, they would have scored."
Trotter was in a jam in the second inning when she walked the leadoff hitter and the next batter reached on the Braves' only error. But Trotter fielded a grounder and fired to third baseman Courtney McKenna for the first out, then struck out the next two batters.
After shortstop Jess Goncalves lined a single to center for Union (27-5) with one out in third inning, Trotter retired the final 14 batters in a row. She struck out two and made four assists, fielding a hot shot and firing to first for the game's final out.
"It was my last game pitching, and I was going to give it everything I had," Trotter said.
Union 000 000 0 - 0 1 1
WIlliamstown 000 003 x - 3 5 1
WP: Katie Trotter. LP: Amanda Kardys.