The North Hunterdon girls received a welcome invitation Monday when the Penn Relays released its field for the girls Championship of America Distance Medley Relay.
The Lions’ Sophia Reich, Sabrina May, Alexa LaSasso and Paige Boyce were one of only 15 quartets to be invited to compete in the DMR. The Lions earned their invitation with the 12:14.36 (No. 5 in the state during this past indoor season) they ran at the New Balance Indoor Nationals last month.
The Penn Relays are slated for April 28-30 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. The girls DMR is in the evening on the first day of the meet.
HUNTERDON/WARREN/SUSSEX SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
Defending tournament champion Hunterdon Central and Sparta earned the top two seeds for the 12th H/W/S when the tournament begins with six first round contests on Wednesday.
Voorhees, the 12th seed, faces off with 17 seed Hackettstown in the first round, and the winner will meet fifth-seeded North Warren in the second round on Saturday, April 23.
Third-seeded North Hunterdon, fourth-seeded Delaware Valley and sixth-seeded South Hunterdon (a semifinalist last season), all received first round byes. North will take on either 14-Kittatinny or 15-Phillipsburg. Del Val will face either 13-Vernon or 16-Wallkill Valley. And South will face either 11-Belvidere or 18-Warren Hills.
Hunterdon Central received a double-bye into the quarterfinals on April 30 as the top seed and will meet 8-Newton, 9-High Point or 20-Hopatcong.
The semifinals are scheduled for May 7 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Lenape Valley. The championship game is slated for May 14 at 2 p.m. at Philipsburg.
Senior Katelyn Carrier, who is quickly approaching 100 career hits, went a combined 3-for-6 with a triple, two walks, an RBI and three runs to help the Eagles softball team (7-1) sweep Mount St. Mary in a doubleheader on Monday, 11-1 and 10-0.
Carrier, currently standing at 91 hits, is batting .458 (11 for 24) this season with a double, two triples, four RBI and 12 runs scored.
Skyler Badessa wielded a big bat in the first game of the twinbill, going 3 for 4 with two doubles and four RBI, while Cambria Loesch went 2 for 4 with two RBI. Molly Bednar allowed one earned run on four hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
In the nightcap, Tiernan Swayhoover went 2 for 4 with a double, Logan Rzasa tripled and drove in three runs, And Annie Spreen and Delaney Baker both had two RBI. Carrier struck out eight while pitching a three-hit shutout.
Baker currently leads Hunterdon County with 20 hits and 22 RBI.
The Terriers softball team won its second straight on Monday when Paige Brightwell enjoyed a nine-strikeout performance from the circle and Brianna Moose doubled twice and drove in two runs in a 6-1 victory over Voorhees.
Del Val (6-3) also received two-hit, two-RBI efforts from Riley Campbell and Skylee Ohler.
Brightwell currently leads Hunterdon County with 64 strikeouts, while Sarah DeStefano of Hunterdon Central is second with 46 and Kaitlyn Srivastava of South Hunterdon is third with 40.
Catherine Peacock went ballistic for five goals and two assists and the Red Devils lacrosse team won its third straight with a 14-7 verdict at Easton on Monday.
Grace Iervolino added four goals and one assist, Kylie Hamer had three goals and Marisa Bragg recorded 12 saves for Central (7-2). Iervolino paces the Red Devils in goals (32, No. 23 in NJ) and assists (eight) this season, while Peacock has 18 goals, Skylar Brandt has 17 and Kadyn Brandt has 12.
Central’s Ella Grinbaum fired a 33 through a weather-shortened six hole golf match in a 117-147 loss to Ridge last week at New Jersey National in Bernards, while Emily Blumenberg had a 36. Earlier last week, Ella Dunn carded a nine-hole 51, while Grunbaum had a 53 at Heron Glen in Ringoes as the Red Devils bowed to Bridgewater-Raritan, 172-216.
And in softball, coach Kelly Reider has managed to reload rather than rebuild after a homer-happy 2021 season. The Red Devils are 7-0 and their pitching staff has allowed eight earned runs while striking out 48.
Really, the yeoman (or yeowoman?) effort has been turned in by senior Sarah DeStefano, who has struck out 46 batters while allowing 28 hits and just three walks in 45 innings.
DeStefano has been helping her own cause by batting .545 (12-for-22) with a double, a homer and nine RBI. Senior and Central Florida commit Samantha DelHoyo is batting .391 (9-for-23) with four doubles, a triple and four RBI.
If Hunterdon Central owned the mantle of Long Ball Queens last spring – the Red Devils slugged 44 round-trippers in 2021 – the Lions (4-5) have snagged that moniker with an impressive offensive display through just two weeks of the season. Senior Grace Reed has seven homers and leads a team which has charted 15 homers thus far, accounting for half of all homers in Hunterdon County.
Reed (batting .607) currently ranks second in the county with 17 hits and third in RBI with 14. And what an addition Kylie Petak (.387) has made to the Lions after transferring from Voorhees. She has two homers and ranks second in RBI with 15. Sienna Sorrentino is batting .500 with 15 hits including four doubles.
On Monday, the Lions earned a 10-4 victory over Sparta (recently awarded the second seed for the H/W/S Tournament) on the strength of a two-earned run effort in the circle by Ava Triano, who surrendered eight hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Brooke Cahill, Samantha Dougherty, Katie Reed and Grace Gigliotti each drove in two runs for the Lions.
The lacrosse team is off to a strong 5-1 start with some robust offensive numbers being produced by Kiera Libro, Phoebe Spaeth and Maddie Ackerman.
Spaeth’s 35 points (21 goals, 14 assists) ranks second in the county while Libro, the team’s leading goal scorer with 25 goals and eight assists, ranks tied for third. Ackerman has tallied 15 goals and eight assists.
The golf team, led by some superb play from Kavya Ajjarapu, is 2-1 with wins over Montgomery (147-160) and North Hunterdon (175-192).
Ajjarapu fired a 29 for seven holes against Montgomery to earn medalist honors at High Bridge Hills in Glen Gardner. Kate Glass was third for the Vikings with a 37 and Leah Hamilton shot a 39.
The Vikes have since split their two meetings with North Hunterdon, winning the first clash when Ajjarapu carded a 1-over-par 36 at High Bridge. Glass shot a 42 and Samantha Bryan 47.
In a 202-216 setback against North a week later at Beaver Brook Country Club in Annandale, Glass turned in a 48 to pace the Vikes.
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