South Jersey Softball Teams to Watch

Buena (21-5 last season): The defending South Jersey Group 2 champions will be led by the senior battery of pitcher San Fiocchi and catcher Lynnsie Collins. Fiocchi struck out 138 last season while Collins had 42 hits.

Cumberland (19-8): Providence recruit Jackie Martin leads the way for the Colts. Martin, a standout senior catcher, batted .438. Sophomore Haley Huitt batted .552 with nine homers.

Delsea (14-7): The Crusaders return ace pitcher Julia Voluntad from the South Jersey Group 3 finalists. Voluntad struck out 175 last season and pitched a shutout against Cumberland in the sectional semifinals.

Eastern (19-6): The Vikings are a team to watch in the Olympic American and in South Jersey Group 4 thanks to a deep, speedy roster led by junior outfielder Madison Morano, a Penn State field hockey recruit who batted .558 last season with five home runs.

Gloucester (17-7): The Lions have a new coach in Megan Mason, who replaces her father, Dave Light. Senior Maddy Chain is one of South Jersey's top pitchers.

Gloucester Catholic (16-9): Senior catcher Angela Antonini leads the way for the Rams. She's a top defensive player and also batted .436 last season.

Kingsway (17-4): The Dragons will have some extra motivation as they were stunned in the first round of last season's South Jersey Group 4 tournament, losing as the No. 1 seed to No. 16 Atlantic City. Junior pitcher Devon Grippe leads the way.

Millville (25-4): Kalia Smith, a transfer from Sacred Heart, made a major impact as a sophomore with the Thunderbolts, batting .511 with 11 homers and 36 RBIs. Now a junior, Smith will try to lead Millville back to the South Jersey Group 4 title game.

Shawnee (15-8): The Renegades have one of South Jersey's top hitters in Taylor Gilligan, a senior catcher who hit 11 home runs last season.

Washington Township (23-5): The defending South Jersey Group 4 champions will be led by one of the state's best players in senior shortstop Jessica Hughes, a Fordham recruit, along with senior infielder Lauren Sandelier.

- Phil Anastasia