St. John Vianney pitcher Kate Beriont was a dominant force in the Monmouth County Tournament Red Division final and the Lancers got several timely hits in key situations as they defeated Wall, 8-0, on Saturday afternoon at Wall High School.
Beriont went seven innings, giving up only a first-inning single with seven strikeouts and two walks to improve her record to 19-1.
“I always feel confident in our defense and with Kate on the mound, and to come out with three runs early, you can be confident,” St. John Vianney softball coach Kim Lombardi said. “But what I try to explain to my kids is that you can’t be relaxed with three runs. You need to go out and add a couple more to the table.”
St. John Vianney (21-1) scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning via two hits and two errors to take the early lead.
Amanda Durham, who went 4-for-4 with three singles and an RBI triple in the fourth inning, started the first inning off with a single, later stole second and scored on a fielding error by the center fielder to give St. John Vianney a 1-0 lead.
Helena Coppola’s RBI double made it 2-0 and a dropped fly ball by the right fielder made it 3-0.
“We made mistakes that we don’t usually make,” Wall softball coach Tony Vodola said. “They tested us in areas that we need to do something about. This game is a great warmup for us to start the Shore Conference and NJSIAA tournaments.”
A half inning before, Wall’s Katie Kilgallen singled to left to produce the only hit of the game for the Crimson Knights (20-3). Kilgallen finished 1-for-3. From there Beriont took over after getting a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
“Kate obviously pitched great and she definitely gets stronger as the game goes on,” Lombardi said.
“Kate pitched a phenomenal game and she’s the best pitcher that we’ve faced all year,” Vodola said.
Besides Durham, Coppola went 1-for-4 with that RBI double in the first.
Jackie Gallagher reached base four times after getting on twice via an error, was hit by a pitch once and had an RBI single in the sixth to make it 6-0. Claire Stefanelli was 1-for-3 with a walk, hitting a two-run single in the sixth to make it 8-0.
“Defense wins championships and I tell the kids that all the time,” Lombardi said. “You need bats, good bunting, good hitting too, but defense is the one thing we work on all the time.”
IN THE WHITE DIVISION FINAL:
MATER DEI 3, FREEHOLD TWP. 1: Jordan Donohue’s two-run double in the top of the fourth broke a scoreless tie and Jackie Nash delivered a sacrifice fly in the sixth and pitched a complete-game six-hitter as the Seraphs (20-2) defeated the Patriots (16-6). Nash struck out five and walked four.
Freehold Township’s Jordyn White struck out 10 batters.
IN THE BLUE DIVISION FINAL:
MATAWAN 6, FREEHOLD 2: Erin Powers tossed a complete-game three-hitter, struck out six and walked six as the Huskies (11-12) defeated the Colonials (6-13). Amanda Lloyd finished with three RBI as she had a bases-loaded walk in the first and a two-run single in the third.