Softball champs knocked from their lofty perch
One was an upset. The other was a loss waiting to happen. Between the two, South Jersey lost its defending state champions in the NJSIAA softball tournament in the last seven days.
One was an upset. The other was a loss waiting to happen.
Between the two, South Jersey lost its defending state champions in the NJSIAA softball tournament in the last seven days.
Top-seeded Gloucester City, the Group 1 state champion, bowed, 2-1, to fourth-seeded Pennsville on Tuesday, raising eyebrows throughout the South Jersey softball community.
Williamstown, the fourth seed and Group 4 state champ, lost to fifth-seeded Eastern on May 20 in a quarterfinal.
Pennsville (15-5) is scheduled to play in the South Jersey final at second-seeded New Egypt (26-3) at 4 p.m. Friday. Eastern (16-6) is set to play its final at Shawnee (21-5), the third seed, at 4 p.m. Thursday.
In the South Jersey Group 3 championship game, Delsea (17-5), the third seed, will host No. 4 Central Regional (16-5) at 3 p.m. Thursday. An hour later, Overbrook (23-2), the top seed, is scheduled to host third-seeded Audubon (16-6) in the South Jersey Group 2 title game.
Pennsville's Dana Watkins has allowed only one run in three playoff games. Shutting out both Palmyra and Riverside by 10-0 scores, the senior has allowed eight hits and struck out 14.
There was no surprise when Williamstown lost in the second round. The Braves had lacked consistency in offense and defense all season. However, the team that beat them, Eastern, has been unpredictable throughout the season, playing poorly against some inferior teams.
Eastern pitcher Sam Lemm, a senior, has shut out three of the last four teams she has faced.
Shawnee pitcher Kelley Dickinson, who lost to Eastern, 11-3, on May 13 in an Olympic Conference game, might start. Dickinson, a junior, is one of four Shawnee pitchers; however, she has pitched the most, with a 9-1 record.
Freshman Jackie Pezzato, whose record is 7-0, won the last playoff game, 2-1, Tuesday over seventh-seeded Cherokee.
Delsea (17-5) has allowed three runs in the playoffs behind pitcher Heather Buriak. The Crusaders' last victory was over second-seeded Kingsway, 8-1.
Overbrook, which drew a bye in the beginning as the top seed, hasn't allowed a run in the tournament behind Jen Metzger, who has pitched three no-hitters and five shutouts this season.
Overbrook beat Audubon, 1-0, April 14 in a Colonial Conference game. The Green Wave, however, have won their last three playoff games by an aggregate score of 23-3 behind senior pitcher Tina Morgan.