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Dazzling defensive players make mark

The Inquirer's all-South Jersey first-team selections in softball pitched, batted, fielded and ran their way to success this season. Here they are:

The Inquirer's all-South Jersey first-team selections in softball pitched, batted, fielded and ran their way to success this season. Here they are:

Gloucester Catholic first baseman Olivia Lawrence was steady defensively for the state Non-Public B champions. The junior batted .369, with five doubles, three triples, and eight home runs.

Shortstop Arielle Bruno batted .472 for Sacred Heart, the South Jersey Non-Public B runner-up. The senior broke the school's career hits record of 127. Bruno finished with 176 hits, including 50 this season.

A brilliant fielder, Shayla Giosia also shined on offense for Gloucester Catholic. The junior slammed two triples and a single in the Rams' 11-1 victory over Immaculate Conception, Lodi, for the state crown. This season, she batted .500 and stole 29 bases.

Jessie Minix, Kingsway's sparkplug, had a .911 fielding percentage as an infielder. The junior also was a leadoff hitter with an on-base percentage of .687 and a batting average of .473.

Rancocas Valley's Lauren Gaskill was named the Gatorade New Jersey Softball Player of the Year. The junior shortstop had 95 putouts and batted .692 to lead the Red Devils to the semifinals of the Central Jersey Group 4 tournament. Virginia Tech-bound Gaskill slammed seven doubles, eight triples, and 10 home runs.

Catcher Kristin Knorr calls the pitches for Delsea, which won the South Jersey Group 3 championship for the second consecutive year. In 23 games, only one runner stole a base on the junior, who had no errors and batted .481.

A two-time first-team all-star, Overbrook's Michelle Foster sparkled in right field again for the Rams. The senior this season had a fielding percentage of 1.000. Her batting average was .490.

Another two-time first-teamer, Jessica Zeilman, was flawless for Delsea in the outfield. The senior had no errors in center field, where she started for the first time this season. A four-year varsity player, Zeilman batted .458 and recorded her 100th hit.

Kylie O'Donnell got to every ball that was hit her way in the outfield for Sterling this season. The junior played in 25 of the Silver Knights' 28 games and batted .394, with an on-base percentage of .400.

Sacred Heart's Kylie Kristovich finished the season with a 25-3 record, best in South Jersey. The senior threw 14 shutouts and had a 0.96 ERA with 192 strikeouts and 34 walks.

Jen Metzger shared pitching duties with Sam Borrelli at Overbrook; however, she threw in most of the games, the last being a 1-0 loss to Indian Hills in the state Group 2 final. The senior was 13-3 with a 0.38 ERA. She batted .467.

Senior Heather Buriak pitched all 24 games for Delsea, which lost in the state Group 3 semifinals. Her record was 18-6, including six shutouts, 74 strikeouts, 40 walks, and a 1.89 ERA. She also batted .357.

Gloucester Catholic's Nicole Hagerty quietly led the Rams to their biggest victories of the season, including the state Non-Public B title. Hofstra-bound Hagerty went 14-4 with a 2.76 ERA.

Courtney Dolson split pitching duty with junior Sam Bryszewski this season, but the Gloucester senior did more of the heavy lifting. Dolson posted a 10-3 record with six shutouts and a 2.47 ERA.

All-South Jersey Softball Teams

First team

Pos.   Name   School   Yr.   

1B    Olivia Lawrence   Gloucester Catholic   Jr.

INF    Arielle Bruno   Sacred Heart   Sr.

INF   Shayla Giosia   Gloucester Catholic   Jr.

INF   Jessie Minix   Kingsway   Jr.

INF   Lauren Gaskill   Rancocas Valley   Jr.

C   Kristin Knorr   Delsea   Jr.

OF   Michelle Foster   Overbrook   Sr.

OF   Jessica Zeilman   Delsea   Sr.

OF   Kylie O'Donnell   Sterling    Jr.

P    Kylie Kristovich   Sacred Heart   Sr.

P   Jen Metzger   Overbrook   Sr.

P   Heather Buriak   Delsea   Sr.

P   Nicole Hagerty   Gloucester Catholic   Sr.

P   Courtney Dolson   Gloucester   Sr.

Second team

Pos.   Name   School   Yr.   

1B   Maureen Hepner   Shawnee   Sr.

INF   Kylie McGoldrick   Sterling   Jr.

INF   Lauren Black   Shawnee   Sr.

INF   Kelsey Dominik   Kingsway   So.

INF   Justine Mattia   Williamstown   Sr.

C   Brooke Fisher   Camden Catholic   Sr.

OF   Grace Cooney   Gloucester   Sr.

OF   Liana Newton   Cinnaminson   Jr.

OF   Brielle Reighn   Triton   So.

P    Krysti Moronski   GCIT   Sr.

P   Jamie Lambe   Sterling   Sr.

P   Sam Borrelli   Overbrook   Sr.

P   Sam Lemm   Eastern   Sr.

P   Dominique Ficara   Kingsway   Jr.

P   Laura Messina   Camden Catholic   Jr.

P   Alyssa Schoelkopf   Washington Township   Jr.

- Bill Iezzi